Brinkley Student Boycott Set To End Wednesday - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Brinkley, AR--Brett Garrett Reports

Brinkley Student Boycott Set To End Wednesday

BRINKLEY, AR--In Brinkley, 300 students that boycotted the school for what their parents call racial inequality between administrators and students will be back in class Wednesday.

After five days, both organizers and the school district believe they have reached an agreement.

"We're really proud about it. We like the idea that we are making a difference," said 9th grade student Zipporah Whitby.

Whitby is one of the students boycotting the school for what they feel is mistreatment by the district.

"It is my school. I want to have a good school. I want to have a good education, so I can be something when I grow up," said Whitby.

Several local churches set up makeshift classrooms to educate students during the boycott.

"I am not just going to go because my mom is telling me to go, I am going because I want to go," said Whitby.

However, Brinkley superintendent Dr. Randy Byrd doesn't think that is the case.

"I don't think for a second students drove this boycott," said Byrd.

The two parties met Monday night to discuss their sides before comprising. The district promises to discuss all of their concerns at the next school board meeting in return for students returning to school.

"I think everyone understood that the best thing for the children was to get them back in school and work out any differences we might have as adults," said Byrd.

For students its back to the books on Wednesday after boycott organizers felt enough of their demands were met by the school and while not everything is right, they do feel it is a step in the right direction.

"I know people look at it as disruptive to the city, but it isn't. It is healing because our African American community is coming together," said boycott organizer Willie Branch.

Branch feels the boycott served its purpose, while the school feels it made the situation worse.

"I guess if there is one thing it will open up the avenues of communication, but other than that I don't know of anything positive," said Byrd.

"Maybe not academically in a form of A's, B's, C's or D's, but we have accomplished something that will go with them the rest of their lives, something they stood up for," said Branch.

Over the last week students were supposed to take part in mandatory benchmark exams. The school is asking the state for an extension, so that they can complete those tests.


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