DETROIT (WWJ) – The fight is on to keep two popular schools in southwest Detroit from closing down for good.
Parents, teachers and students marched outside of DPS headquarters at the Fisher Building in protest of the closings of Mayberry elementary and Southwestern high school — both of which are slated to close this year.
Robert Muha teaches at Southwestern and volunteers at Mayberry.
“This is not about getting us out of a deficit, any business that was having financial difficulty would not say every couple of years, let’s get rid of a quarter of our customers, that will help us get on track financially,” said Muha. ”This is truly about dismantling DPS schools and an attack on public education.”
Protester and parent Deb Sumner says the more DPS close down, the more parents are likely to enroll parents elsewhere in other school districts.
“The parents have to have choices, they don’t want their children in classroom sizes of 50, that don’t have desks. They will go else where,” said Sumner.
“We are a neighborhood that is growing, we have 35 percent of young families, and we have 3.4 family size. We have a baby boom in southwest Detroit,” she added.
Fourteen-year-old Donella Garcia has dyslexia and graduated from Mayberry Elementary School.
“And Mayberry has helped me to improve my spelling and with my reading ’cause my dyslexia was really worse,” said Garcia.
Many say southwest Detroit is a growing community and both schools are needed to accommodate that growth.