YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – On Tuesday, members of the NAACP spoke about their continued mission to bring attention to what they call a failing education system in Youngstown.
Each month, members of the public are invited to attend the Public Square meeting aimed at discussing different issues in the city.
“It’s a place for public discussion about things that affect African American families, their children and the community at large,” said M. Mike McNair, co-publisher of The Buckeye Review.
“We like to have a place where there’s a voice, an advocate for African Americans, and that’s why we’re here,” said NAACP Vice President Jimma McWilson. “Our whole thing is about meeting with families, holding workshops with families and letting them know what their roles, rights, responsibilities and power options are. Those four things are critical. We then make sure we are there to back them up on that.”
The NAACP has listed 18 issues they have with Youngstown Superintendent Stephen Stohla. These include his failure to hire enough math and English teachers for the district, as well as create a safe learning environment for students.
“When students speak out, as students spoke out this year, and are retaliated against, our job is to step in and make sure the district understands federal law and that it is against federal law for them to retaliate,” McWilson said.
Their focus remains on East High School.
“For the last three years, East High School has been going downhill and the current controlling members of the board have been incompetent dealing with that.”
The NAACP has also been urging parents to get involved in their children’s education, specifically in Youngstown.
Members made a point to let the public know that as a community civil rights organization, they will continue to help local residents protect their rights and the values of the community.
Superintendent Stohla was not immediately available for comment Tuesday night.