Charter School Praised at Open House amid Parent Complaints

Charter School Praised at Open House amid Parent Complaints

A Binghampton charter school, which has angered parents and residents of the neighborhood, is promising better things.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Binghampton charter school, which has angered parents and residents of the neighborhood, is promising better things.

The Cornerstone Prepatory School is located in half of the Lester Elementary School building. Tennessee education officials awarded the charter school after Lester came up with the second lowest ratings of any school in the state.

Cornerstone Prep decided to start bringing people in, showing them around, and letting them see what's going on. If they were expecting lots of parents after last month's meeting, they might have been surprised; only one showed up Thursday morning.

The school wanted to show their classrooms off. Charter schools do things differently. The classrooms at Cornerstone are the most exciting places in the building. Young teachers and students in Pre-K through 3rd grade are excited about learning.

A lot of parents and others in Binghampton don't like this school. Last month they met, and the anger was obvious.

They mainly say school officials never tried to get to know the people of the community. They also claimed students were mistreated, not even allowed to go to a bathroom if needed.

Drew Sippel with Cornerstone responded, "We feel like between the five breaks we have, the new process where students can go, take a hall pass, and go to the restroom, that we're providing more than ample opportunities to make sure every child has a restroom break."

Only one parent showed up for Thursday's open house, and she has always been a supporter.

Local pastor Keith Norman and Madeline Taylor of the NAACP also looked around. For Taylor, she says the problems sound like they could be easily solved.

"Maybe the parents and the school are not communicating with each other as opposed to at each other," she noted.

There is a concern about the teachers not looking like the students they teach.

"I don't want the children to think the only way you can be a teacher is to be white."

One thing that did get rave reviews was what happens in the classrooms.

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