Local Middle School Students Protest Against School Board

Fine arts students at Andrew Jackson Middle School are angered by a school board decision which ended funding for programs such as art, music, and dance.

The school, located at 5021 Fillmore Avenue, in the quiet suburbs of Woodbridge Park, is well known for its excellent academic standing and phenomenal creative and fine arts department, is in a state of outrage over a local school board decision. The decision, which cut funding for programs like theater, music, art, and many more, had caused an instant wave of controversy when word got out Thursday evening.

The drastic choice is a result of a massive blow to the state education budget, which was a notable problem, even back in the 2013 school year. However, decisions have only been made this year - a first for the county.

The Porter Press spoke with students, parents, and adults who are part of the school's learning community.

I'm really disappointed with how this turned out. I was looking forward to continuing to do drama in my eighth grade year. , said 7th grader Celia Kim. Some parents are also confused, and curious about what choices their children could pursue next. None of the school officials or parents were asked about this decision before it was made. How long will it be until they close the school entirely if the school district continues to make decisions without the community's voice?, declared Marie Leonard, a mother of three whose children all attend Jackson.

It's really terrible, both for the students and the adults on campus, explained drama teacher Terrence Burke. ,sometimes the arts are the only thing that drives some students to even show up to school. I've been teaching here for over 30 years, and not once has something like this ever happened. I really hope that the education board can create a solution.

We have yet to receive comment from the school's principal, Martin Williams. However, it will most likely be a while until we receive both a statement, and a solution to this quickly rising issue.

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