DEMAND SCHOOL RESTORATION IN WEST WINTER PARK

DEMAND SCHOOL RESTORATION IN WEST WINTER PARK

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The Equity Council Corp. started this petition to School Board Karen Castor Dentel and

SIGN THIS PETITION TO DEMAND SCHOOL RESTORATION IN WEST WINTER PARK #ASCHOOLFORWESTWINTERPARK— IT ONLY TAKES 1 MINUTE!

This petition is to fulfill the unsubstantiated requirements given to the citizens of West Winter Park by the Orange County Public School Board and its Administration to delay a magnet school request in the historic African-American neighborhood of Hannibal Square in Winter Park, FL (West Winter Park). Historically, discouraging tactics, such as asking a community to garner unnecessary support, are frequently used to stop African-Americans from rebuilding their community. The Hannibal Square community has asked Orange County Public School on numerous occasions, since Webster Elementary's closure in the mid-1960s, if the school district could build the Hannibal Square community a neighborhood school. Unfortunately, in over 61 years, that conversation has never ended in community school restoration for Hannibal Square residents. Retired community elders can still vividly recall years of educational gerrymandering and busing for themselves, their children, and now their grandchildren. In contrast, surrounding communities received new schools, while Hannibal Square residents simultaneously saw their community's population diminishing due to lack of amenities and increased gentrification.


This Petition will serve as a FORMAL request to Orange County Public schools and as a BASELINE for West Winter Park residents and concern citizens to continue to advocating through the process of West Winter Park obtaining a school in our community.

Spanish translation of the petition can be found here: https://forms.gle/V3XwXHNSaubdNWbh8

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Relevant Research:

"No, black kids should not have to leave their neighborhoods to attend a quality school or sit next to white students to get a quality education. But we cannot be naïve about how this country works. To this day, according to data collected from the Education Department, the whiter the school, the more resources it has. We cannot forget that so many school desegregation lawsuits started with attempts by black parents to simply get equal resources for black schools. Parents demanded integration only after they realized that in a country that does not value black children the same as white ones, black children will never get what white children get unless they sit where white children sit." Link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/opinion/sunday/it-was-never-about-busing.html

Orlando Weekly Article: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/a-return-to-segregation/Content?oid=2260709

History of African American Schools in OCPS: https://anniversary.ocps.net/stories/history_of_african-_american_schools_in_o_c_p_s

Good neighborhood schools promote equity, build community, offer unique educational advantages, and can help retain highly resourced families.

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PETITION LETTER:

Dear School Board:

We Demand a Community School In Hannibal Square, Winter Park!

Having a neighborhood school is essential to the psychological well-being of any child and a necessary component to the foundation of any community. For over 40 years the children of Hannibal Square in Winter Park, FL have been bussed to other schools because instead of investing in our community, the Orange County Public School (OCPS) system closed Webster Avenue Elementary, aiding in the gentrification of our community, and splitting our school children apart.

This educational gerrymandering needs to stop, and establishing a K-8 Community School in the Historic African American Community of Hannibal Square has many benefits:

-Creates a sense of community pride for Hannibal Square and Winter Park;
-The land that Webster Elementary use to occupy that is now Orange Technical College would not be sold to investors but repurposed back into a community school after 40 years.
-Gentrification would stabilize because we would have more permanent home buyers and fewer investor
-Educators would be recruited to reflect the student body, creating education environments that are empowering for all;
-Tax dollars would stay in the Winter Park community and more time would be spent building our own community up instead of focusing on communities outside of Hannibal Square;
-Parents of all colors that want their children educated in a diverse environment could have a school option not designed under a "segregationist" blueprint;
-Social cohesion would be established, building collective efficacy around the neighborhood school.

After decades of community children not being considered and adult dreams not being realized, a community waiting for restoration can finally live in the moment of getting it right and seeing their community's school restored.

Please sign our petition to the OCPS Board, and help us finally establish a K-8 Community School in West Winter Park!

 

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