Police called Sewickley Academy after students and parents raised concerns about inclusion – CBS Pittsburgh

EDGEWORTH, Pa. (KDKA) – There have been issues with inclusivity at Sewickley Academy for months.

Several administrators and faculty members at Sewickley Academy have been fired since the summer. It reached a turning point on Thursday when police were called to the school in response to students and parents who raised their concerns.

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(Image credit: Susan Cox)

The students were not happy, and several started a petition to address their concerns. According to parents at Sewickley Academy, students were called to a high school meeting on Thursday to consider the petition.

Principals said some students felt pressured to sign the petition. KDKA was told to the organizers, and some allies then went to speak to the senior high school principal about the concerns.

“I was really proud of her. That was very brave of them,” said parent Lisa Wren.

Wren left to support her daughter, as did Mark Cox and his wife. They said the meeting ended with the principal leaving.

“All of the students felt let down and not listened to,” said Cox.

The group said they then went to take the petition to Dr. Ashley Birtwell, the Headmistress. By this time, more students and at least one faculty member had joined.

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“It was a peaceful effort to present her with a petition in support of caring for her classmates,” Wren said.

as dr Birtwell was unavailable, Cox and Wren said Deputy Principal Ken Goleski confronted the group, called the police and fired a faculty member on the spot.

“For the police to escort me off campus where my children have been for more than 10 years is just surreal. It’s totally inappropriate,” Cox said. “It shouldn’t have ended like this.”

However, the school said in a message to parents: “Unfortunately, today there was a situation that made it necessary to contact the local authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. The authorities have since left the campus as the situation has been resolved.”

“What a total misrepresentation of the facts,” said Cox.

A strike in front of the school is now planned for Friday morning.

Sewickley Academy sent this response to KDKA-TV Thursday night.

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“Please note that at Sewickley Academy we have always encouraged our community to voice their ideas and help take our learning to new heights. However, such initiatives must be carried out in a constructive and inclusive manner. As such, we are deeply saddened by the recent events at the Academy and the decision by members of our community to voice their opinions in an unproductive manner that has also transformed our once safe space into one that feels anything but. This is not in line with our core values ​​and is counterproductive as we try to build a better academy for the future.” Police called Sewickley Academy after students and parents raised concerns about inclusion – CBS Pittsburgh


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