DC Education Activists in Studio

On Education Town Hall on Thursday September 12, we enjoyed hearing in studio from two activists in DC education—in the first half, a parent activist working on issues of sexual misconduct in our publicly funded schools and, in the second half, an activist addressing the inequity of after school opportunities for DC school kids.

Segment One, top of the hour
Segment Two, 36:20 —

Documenting and Reporting Sexual Misconduct

The first half of the show featured DCPS parent and Ward 6 Public School Parents Organization officer Danica Petroshius, who discussed her work in getting attention for the issue of sexual misconduct in our publicly funded schools, in the wake of reporting in June 2019 that an employee for a popular DC aftercare provider allegedly sexually abused a child at Capitol Hill Montessori.

Petroshius noted that right now in DC, there is little tracking of sexual misconduct in schools; very little publicly revealed; and compliance with laws for background checks is not thorough. She also noted that city education leaders have responded to queries about all of that in a piecemeal fashion. She noted that to ensure justice, the following needs to happen:

—All schools must comply with reporting requirements for sexual misconduct (all adults are mandated reporters);
—Comprehensive training for all adults in schools;
—Clear policies on victim support;
—Better data collection and dissemination; and
—Clear communication to the public about incidents

For more information, see the following:

Abuse Complaints (WUSA report)

Documenting Sexual Assault (EducationDC)

Secret List (Coalition Request)

Sexual Assault Policy (EducationDC)

Petroshius also gave a plug for another school volunteer group she is part of” The Story of Our Schools, which works with students to complete research into their own schools and then present it to their school community in a permanent museum-quality exhibit. For more information, and to learn about their upcoming fundraiser, see Story of Our Schools.

First Segment 9-12-19
Valerie, Danica Petroshius,Thomas

Serve Your City

In studio for the second half, Maurice Cook, founder and executive director of local nonprofit Serve Your City, talked about his work ensuring that all kids in DC have access to enriching extracurricular opportunities.

Serve Your City matches volunteer coaches, mentors, and tutors with at risk school children for afterschool yoga; tennis; rowing, swimming; and tutoring. Joining him in studio was 10-year-old Sophia Crawford, who talked about her time swimming and doing yoga with Serve Your City.

Cook noted that DC has huge opportunity gaps in programming for kids who cannot afford extracurricular sports or other afterschool activities. Serve Your City aims to address such social injustice while ensuring families are connected with volunteers who can change children’s lives.


Second Segment 9-12-19
Valerie, Maurice Cook, Sofia Crawford, Thomas

The Education Town Hall with Thomas Byrd
broadcasts from Historic Anacostia
in Washington, DC, on We Act Radio,
Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern
New programming 2nd and 4th Thursdays, alternating with classic shows.
Listen live via TuneIn.
Shows are archived for convenient listening shortly after broadcast.

After years of weekly broadcasts, the program now focuses one show each month on local issues and one on “the BUS,” organized by BadAss Teachers, United Opt Out, and SOS March.

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