Richmond School Board Meeting Heats Up Over Future of Martin Luther King Middle School

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Teachers and students at Richmond’s Martin Luther King Middle School aren’t sure what the future holds.

Officials say poor student performance is the reason teachers are being forced to re-apply for their jobs.

Richmond Public Schools held a school board meeting Monday night — ironically, at Martin Luther King Middle. There, teachers, parents and students lined up, holding signs saying ‘Save Our Teachers’ and asking the board to reconsider overhauling the school.

“I will say, this no, it is not the easiest place to work,” Jasmine Betts, a teacher at MLK said. “But we are here because this is where we are needed. Our kids need us. ”

Many parents like Parish Triplett feel the problem isn’t with teachers but rather the students.

“If they’re disrupting the class and keeping other students from learning, there is where the problem lies. ”

Despite protests, it appears the plan is a done deal. Teachers will have to re-apply and only half will be retained. Hiring decisions are expected to be made by April.

The change was announced last week by Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden.

Dr. Bedden was another hot topic at the school board meeting. His supporters attended, holding “Better With Bedden” signs, urging the Superintendent to stay.

“We stand behind you, we stand with you. We believe this is a challenge worth your engagement in the long term.”

8News was first to report Bedden’s job opportunity with Boston Public Schools last week. Dr. Bedden has worked in Richmond for just over a year and is a finalist for the same position he holds now in Boston.

Dr. Bedden told the school board he may consider leaving if he is offered the job.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for the latest updates.

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