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We stand with the St. Helena Island Community in calling for Penn Center, Inc.'s Board of Trustees and staff to remove the fence that they have erected at and around the Penn Center National Landmark Historic District on historic St. Helena Island, SC. The community has clearly stated its opposition to Penn Center becoming gated. Therefore, we are calling for the removal of the executive director that proceeded with placing the fence around the property.
The funding for a fence should have be allocated towards the appropriate security cameras for the historic building and grounds and for staffing to work with the youth that are on campus. Appropriate staffing and training of adult personnel for after school and summer programs in order to insure the safety of the youth is what the community repeatedly requested. In spite of stating to the community that there would be further dialogue on this matter, a fence was erected.
Fences represent community member exclusion on St. Helena Island, SC which is a historically Gullah/Geechee Sea Island. Penn Center needs to build community relationships and not fences!