President of KGIA’s PTA Criticizes the DOE

April 8, 2008– Below is a brief speech (in English and Spanish) given by Pomposa Pena, president of the P.T.A. at the Khailil Gibran International Academy, at a press conference held today protesting yet another example of the DOE’s disrespect and lack of regard for the views and voices of communities and parents about what is best for their children.

My name is Pomposa Pena and my son Ibrahm is a student at Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA). I am also the president of the PTA. I would like to thank Councilwoman James for giving me the opportunity to speak.
I am here today to support all of the parents and community members concerned about the Department of Education and the leadership of KGIA’s failure to include parents in crucial decisions regarding our school.
For example, KGIA parents were not involved in the decision to move the school and believe it will contribute to more instability in the school community. But it is not only the move that we are concerned about.
Our school was originally envisioned as a place where parents would be encouraged to participate in the school community, yet our access to the school is limited.
Our children are facing many problems. Our special needs students are not receiving the necessary resources they deserve, school facilities are not sufficient for student’s needs, and Arabic language and cultural studies, which represent the foundation of the school, have been significantly cut back.
We are calling on the DOE to listen to the concerns of parents and support the school by providing it with the resources and leadership it needs to be successful. If the Department of Education does not give us the resources or support we need, we will have to take our children out of the school. But we do not want that.

Mi nombre es Pomposa Peña. Mi hijo Ibrahm es un estudiante en Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA). Yo soy la presidente de la Asociación de Padres y Maestros. Quisiera agradecer a la Regidora James por la oportunidad de hablar con ustedes hoy.
Estoy aquí hoy para apoyar a todos los padres y los miembros de la comunidad que se preocupan de la falta del Departamento de Educación y del liderazgo de Khalil Gibran en involucrar a los padres en decisiones importantes sobre nuestra escuela.
Por ejemplo, no se les invitó a los padres de Khalil Gibran a participar en la decisión de mover la escuela a otro local, y creemos que esta decisión contribuyerá a la inestabilidad para la comunidad escolar. Pero nos preocupamos de más que la mudanza.
Al principio, se imaginó que nuestra escuela sería un lugar donde se les promoverían a los padres participar en la comunidad de la escuela. Sin embargo, han limitado nuestro acceso a la escuela.
Nuestros hijos enfrentan muchos problemas. Nuestros estudiantes con discapacidades no reciben todos los recursos que merecen. Las facilidades disponibles en la escuela no son suficientes para las necesidades de los estudiantes. Se han reducido el estudio del idioma arabe y la cultura arabica que se representa en la fundación de la escuela.
Les pedimos al Departamento de Educación que escuchen a los padres y que apoyen a la escuela con los recursos y el liderazgo que necesita para tener éxito. Si el Departamento de Educación no nos da los servicios o la ayuda que necesitamos, tendrémos que sacar a nuestros hijos de la escuela. Pero no queremos eso.

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