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Exclusive: Aspire Public Schools Superintendent Addresses Hall Pass Controversy

MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - Following an investigation by Aspire Public School, it turns out a controversial hall pass policy circulating on social media was, in fact, written by a teacher. At Local 24's request, superintendent Dr. Nickalous Manning sat down for an exclusive interview to address parents’ concerns.

"I think that students have the opportunity to see the nurse or use the restroom," said Dr. Manning. "They can make that request."

On Thursday, the superintendent said he did not agree with the teacher's hall pass.

"It is clear that it is inconsistent with our policies and our practices," he said. "We are meeting with our teachers and we have a full team ensuring that our policies and practices are clear and are understood.

The administration told Local 24 the teacher was spoken to and she is still employed by the charter school.

"She's been with us a number of years," said Dr. Manning.

The superintendent got in front of the issue after a mother of a student at Aspire Hanley Middle School posted a photo of the hall pass to social media. It shows a student must agree to leave class only twice a month. After the second time, the pass says the student will not be allowed to leave for any reason, including going to the nurse or bathroom.

Aspire Public Schools Issued the following statement to parents and the school community:

"On August 29, 2018, it was discovered that 8th grade students at Hanley Middle School were given a document restricting bathroom and nurse visits that was inconsistent with our school's actual policies, our mission, and our values. We are currently reviewing the circumstances under which the document was prepared and distributed to students.

Please know the safety and care of our students is always our first priority. It is important that students know we respect them and are responsive to their needs.

To reinforce these values, we convened our full team today to review all relevant policies and procedures. We will continue to work with our teachers and staff to ensure all school policies and values are consistently maintained in each classroom."

Still, parent and community members were upset over the teachers demands, calling into question her teaching abilities.

"The teacher in question needs to be fired," wrote Jennifer Michelle Di Mino on Facebook. "No one who writes a note like that should be working with children."

Other people called for the teacher identified as Mrs. White to be fired.

"Why should an adult, let alone a TEACHER, be describing herself as petty to her students," said Taylor Sims.

Local 24 inquired about the grammatical errors in the policy. Dr. Manning would only say he has faith that students are receiving the best education possible.


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