Petersburg PTA rallies against Chesterfield running ailing

Posted at 8:28 PM, Feb 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-26 20:38:20-05

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) -- The Petersburg PTA is unhappy about a proposal to have Chesterfield County Public Schools run the troubled school system.

In a press conference outside Peabody Middle School,  one of the city's two unaccredited schools, parents said that the idea hurts the education of their students.

"The last time our school system was taken over, that era was segregation," Petersburg PTA President Linwood Christian told a group of journalists Wednesday.

Christian is addressing a proposal in the General Assembly that would allow Chesterfield to administer Petersburg schools.

"We appreciate the help you are offering, but let us do it until we prove we are incapable of doing it," Christian said, expressing disapproval at the suggestion.

So far, Petersburg and Chesterfield school leaders have yet to reject or support the idea, telling CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George they are "monitoring" the issue in the General Assembly.

But Christian said that the PTA would support Chesterfield running their schools over a state agency takeover.

Under current law, the Opportunity Education Institute can take over failing schools if they fail to meet accreditation standards for several years.

"I would prefer Chesterfield to the state," Christian said.

Christian did take a swipe at the State Senator behind the proposal, Tommy Norment of New Kent County, who said to CBS 6 last week that he believes "an entire generation of students have been lost in Petersburg."

"Senator Norment, other than on the news, I have not seen you. Come to Petersburg - speak with our children," Christian said.

Depend on and CBS 6 News for continuing coverage of this story.