KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The state of Missouri has temporarily closed the doors at one Kansas City high school, citing significant safety concerns. Those safety issues are forcing teachers at the school to consider whether they’ll stay according to a letter from Missouri Charter Public School Commission.
Hogan Preparatory Academy is on the brink of permanent closure. This comes after the commission sent a letter of concern to the school Friday.
The MCPSC is directing Hogan Prep not to allow students in grades 9-12 to attend school on campus before Monday, November 28.
“I have not ever seen actions where it is so unsafe where we have to cease the type of business-as-usual operations in a school like this before,” Samara Crawford Herrera said. She is the president and executive director of the Kansas City Action Fund.
“Unfortunately, these incidents are not a recent aberration. Instead, they are indicative of an environment that has resulted in high rates of student suspension, and which has been consistently understaffed,” the letter stated.
FOX4 spoke with superintendent Doctor Jayson Strickland who said safety is the school’s top priority. Dr. Strickland said two issues at the school include strangers being in the school during school hours and student fights.
The state also expresses concern for retention of staff.
“Many of them are considering resigning or not renewing employment contracts because of the concerns for their safety,” the letter says.
“It breaks my heart, it’s heartbreaking I was a classroom teacher. But the other part of me is angry, right? I’m a parent of a high school student. I want to know that my kiddo is going to go to school and be able to access learning,” said Crawford Herrera.
The commission ended saying: “If these actions are not completed in a timely manner, the Commission may take additional action, up to and including closure of the school.”
The state is giving the school until the 28th to come up with a safety plan.
“In all frankness, I concur with it if we cannot provide a safe secure and quality experience for young people. I’m in support. I don’t think we should waste young people’s time – taxpayers time… money,” said Strickland.
The superintendent told FOX4 they have a meeting set up with parents scheduled for this week
and he’s confident the school can rise to the occasion and fix these problems.
Students will be in virtual learning for the remainder of this week.
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