Hyde Leadership Public Charter School of Bronx, NY students, parents and faculty demonstrate the depth of their commitment to learning and social justice close to home and further afield.
A group of Hyde students and staff joined the Occupy Wall Street Protest at Zuccotti Park. While there, Marisol Acosta, a Hyde sophomore, filmed a short documentary that was then shown to the high school during school meeting. While interviewing protesters and walking around the area, Marisol was struck by the multitude of causes that brought the protesters to the park. Marisol has also attended another protests in the past, visiting the site of a proposed jail in the Bronx with some family members. “Kids should be more involved in society,” she said. By attending the protests and showing her film to the school, Marisol inspired other students to know that their voices really do matter.
Students in the Bronx often face the challenge of attending school and living in a community that struggles with issues of violence and safety, and it has felt even closer to home recently. In a school meeting regarding several recent incidents in the Hunts Point area, many students said that they were “just used to the violence” and felt unable to effect change. Many said, “This is just what goes on around here.” Junior Fatimah McFadden displayed courage and leadership by challenging this attitude of complacency. She said, “We’re accustomed to living in violence, but we can’t just accept it.” Staff, parents, and students then organized a meeting with the police, where Fatimah expressed these same concerns. Many parents, faculty members, and community members spoke out, as well, and the police responded two days later with a commitment to increased presence around the high school on Hunts Point Avenue and the elementary/middle school building on Bryant Avenue.