Lakewood students say school leadership is failing them

KING 5's Natalie Swaby reports.

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- The Lakewood Youth Council arrived at city hall on Monday night and told councilmembers school leadership is failing.

The Youth Council, made up of students in good academic standing, delivers reports to city councilmembers on issues that have a city-wide impact on youth.

Before the city hall session began, students met to discuss their concerns. They presented data about high teacher turnover rates and concerning test scores.

“It shows, yes, we are improving. But our test scores still aren't at the state average,” said Dennis Higashiyama, Youth Council Advisor.

Students also said the school district did not provide timely details about an assault on campus. Siobhan Wells, a Senior at Lakes High School, said students demonstrated with a school walkout last week.

“That walk out represented our students standing up for not being informed, for us not feeling secure, for us not feeling like we had an answer from our district when we asked a question,” said Wells.

Senior Carlos Alvarez stood before Councilmembers and said, “Lakewood Youth Council submits this recommendation of no confidence with the current leadership of the Superintendent and School Board of Clover Park School District.”

Councilmembers asked if the students have met with school board members. The answer was no, but students said they plan to be at a school board meeting next week.

Wells told Councilmembers that the school district did not offer a response after last week’s walkout.

Kimberly Prentice, a spokesperson for Clover Park School District, declined our request for an interview, and instead provided this statement: “We have not heard from Lakewood Youth Council on this issue. There have been no discussions with the youth council members collectively or as individuals. As a result, we do not know what their concerns are at this time.”

Copyright 2016 KING


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