RPS task force to tackle alleged discrimination in schools - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

RPS task force to tackle alleged discrimination in schools

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A multicultural task force was formed after a protest last summer. Members of the Hispanic community complained about alleged discrimination and communication challenges in Richmond Public Schools. 

The task force will recommend sweeping changes at the school board meeting next Monday. 

"The Latino community thinks there is no representation on their part," said task force member Nicole Culbreth. 

The group has spent months working on recommendations for the school board after a long line of parents and students demanded changes back in July.

"If we as a community don't tackle them," said Culbreth. "It can get worse, and it can be a domino effect."

Culbreth says she is concerned about recent violence.

"I hate to call it race fights, but it is coming down to that," said Culbreth. "Each culture is just being clickish, and we are just trying to break that cycle."

Culbreth says there is also a noticeable language barrier. Back in July, protesters noted the communication challenges by speaking in Spanish during the board meeting. 

"This is what happens with the families that are here," said a speaker. "This is not communication."

One of the top recommendations is to create a welcome center. It would be temporarily located at the Southside Community Services Center on the 4000 block of Hull Street Road.

"They can come in and have registration," said Charles Willis who is co-chair of the task force. "They can come in and register for lunch. They can get their bus schedule. They can know exactly what school they are going to, and it is all at one central location."

Willis says they also plan to address interpreters and where they should be placed

"So we have heard the cry of the community," said Willis. 

Willis says they plan to make the presentation in English and Spanish at Monday's board meeting.

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