St. Cloud Math & Science Academy Staff Stand Behind Administration
ST. CLOUD -- A few weeks after a protest outside the school, 38 teachers and staff at St. Cloud Math and Science Academy have signed a petition in support of Director Tammy Bengston.
Earlier this month, parents with students in the school protested outside, claiming the unfair firing of Somali employees, poor relationship with parents, poor educational performances from their students and racial discrimination, among other things.
The protestors wanted Bengston to resign, the complete dissolution of the current board and fresh elections, a new "caretaker team" and a focus on hiring immigrants and people of color.
The support petition reads:
"The following St. Cloud Math and Science Academy staff members wish to show their support for Director, Tammy Bengston. In the event that she is terminated or forced to resign, these individuals will also terminate their employment with the school. Our willingness to sign this petition is a direct result of her outstanding leadership abilities. We feel that she has demonstrated respect, loyalty and dedication to all students, parents and staff regardless of their position, race, religion or alternative opinions."
The board responded to community concerns at a meeting on May 10.
The board took a parent survey for 2017-2018, with a 97% "overall satisfied" rate, with 93 parents responding to the survey. The school has also seen growth in academic goals from students, 99% of them improved from fall to spring testing.
Since the protest, the school has added a Somali-speaking worker at their front desk. The board also added member Mohamad Ali, who has three students at the school, at their meeting on May 10. The school says there are two board positions open still. One for a parent and one for a community member, which can be applied for in August.