Parents concerned about AC Prep campus - KCTV5

AC Prep campus hopes reinforcement of zero-tolerance policy resolves issues

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Dr. Green outside of AC Prep. Courtesy: Chuck Prewitt/KCTV Dr. Green outside of AC Prep. Courtesy: Chuck Prewitt/KCTV
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A big fight at a local school has parents wondering what's going on and now they said there are more issues at the African-Centered College Preparatory Academy.

Fifty students were expelled after Friday's fight for having bad behavior throughout the school year and Tuesday morning, school officials met with parents and students about another issue that came up. Tuesday, another 20 students were sent home for violating the dress code. The superintendent said all the students were given a warning about the strict enforcement of the school uniform policy.

The superintendent said, given the fights that had broken out Friday at AC Prep, the district team decided to come and help out the school's principal and staff to crack down on troublemakers. The district team looked at student files and those with disciplinary problems, like verbal abuse against teachers and staff, were told they can't return to the school.

Tuesday, almost two dozen students not wearing the proper uniform had to call their parents and ask them to come get them from school.

The superintendent said it's time to get back control of the school with a zero-tolerance policy, but not all parents are happy with the strict enforcement.

"The shoes, the pants, the shirt all have to be a part of the uniform. This is a school of choice - e have chosen them to be here, they have chosen to be here so this is a signature school and so, as a signature school, there's a uniform policy and we're expecting all students to abide by that," said Kansas City, MO, School District Superintendent Dr. Steve Green.

Green said the district isn't going to tolerate any more bad behavior at the school and it starts with students following simple rules, like the dress code. He said all students were warned the day before the dress code would be enforced.

"We are going to hold high expectations and expect students to rise to those expectations," Green said.

Parent Sharece Shalby is upset because she said when the school year started, the school had a relaxed dress code and now the sudden change is catching everyone off guard.

"I just got a son that got kicked out yesterday. He ain't been here Thursday and Friday. He got kicked out because they come here with some conduct card that's from a month ago and they're just now kicking him out so he has to go to a whole other school," Shalby said. "I still got one child left here and I'm about to withdraw her today too because there's too much going on at this school. The problem is when school started, they should have said they (the students) need to wear black shoes, they should have had everything straight and now that these kids are wearing different colored shoes, or this and that, now they want to send them home. And now parents have to come up here every day and this is very ridiculous."

Green said students have slowly been testing the school's rules over a period of time and the school needs to become strict with any and all rules once again.

"I think they started out testing the boundaries, OK. It happens gradually over time and they see another student who does it and it drifts apart. We are recalibrating and bringing it back to focus," he said.

The superintendent said, while the fight didn't have anything to do with what the kids were wearing, the school district believes it's time to get the students back in line with all the rules so they can come to school ready to learn.

"We had some students here who were not here really for African-Centered College Preparatory Academy. They wanted to have altercations and pulling the alarm was an excuse into the altercation. We've come in to reinforce the principal and his team. So we've established the standard, raised the bar and are enforcing the code," Green said.

Freshman Lee Turner was kicked out of the school this week, accused of being a main contributor of the Friday fight that was captured on a student's cell phone.

"I'm accused of starting a fight and throwing a can at the principal. They were coming for me and I didn't throw no can," he said.

His mother is upset and said the school isn't focusing on the real problem behind why the fight took place.

"There's a big beef brawling between the two groups: ACE Academy and the Imagine Renaissance Academy. Evidently it all came to a head on Friday," Tennille Turner said.

"I guess it's for territory - it's their school. ACE vs. Renaissance," Lee Turner said.

After the Imagine Renaissance Academy closed, its students were sent to African-Centered College Preparatory Academy, and Lee Turner said they aren't being welcomed by the other AC Prep students.

"It's part of the process. The school is a brand new school, it's going through growing pains, it's establishing its norms and people will test those boundaries and that's OK, but we're going to uphold the standard. It's an African-Centered College Preparatory school and, if it's not what they are looking for, then this is not the place for them," Green said.

"I think the administration should have been aware of what's going on. I was already taking him (her son) out of school cause I was concerned for his safety," Tennille Turner said.

The 20 students who were not dressed properly Tuesday will be allowed to return to school Wednesday if they meet the dress code. The other 50 that were expelled for disciplinary problems have to go to their neighborhood school or take online classes.

The African-Centered College Preparatory Academy is holding a meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the main auditorium of the school to go over any questions parents may have about the school's zero-tolerance policy.

For more information, anyone can call the Parent Information Line at 816-418-7556.

Click here for previous coverage on the fights at AC Prep.

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