COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In retaliation for asking questions and producing dozens of signed affidavits from parents, teachers, and students about the school’s curriculum; handling of students with learning disabilities; treatment of the Latino, Asian and other minority populations; and management of finances, Columbus Academy in Columbus, Ohio, officially expelled the children of the founders of the Pro CA Coalition on June 11, 2021, with no prior warning. The expulsion letter was signed by Melissa Soderberg, Head of School, and Jonathan Kass, President Board of Trustees. However, it was noted the Board of Trustees determined the expulsions. Andrea Gross and Amy Gonzalez, primary organizers, requested documents and the process for an appeal and were told “You are not entitled to, and we will not provide to you, the other documents you requested.” This statement was made by two large law firms representing Columbus Academy.
The Pro CA Coalition, a group of hundreds of parents, students, alumni, and teachers, organically formed mid-January 2021, to foster positive dialogue and confront concerns with Columbus Academy to ensure the school returned to a core focus on academic excellence. The expelled students had been at Columbus Academy since Pre-K; two were entering 6th grade and one was a rising junior.
“The school’s retaliation will forever affect my innocent children,” said Andrea Gross, co-organizer of the Pro CA Coalition. “We love Columbus Academy, the teachers, and the community so we decided to effectuate change from the inside. This is a clear message from the school to silence us and to intimidate and frighten the hundreds of other members in our Coalition.”
“We will continue to advocate for our children and community,” said Amy Gonzalez, co-organizer of the Pro CA Coalition. “Expelling our innocent children is retaliatory and discriminatory. Is Columbus Academy leadership and our Board of Trustees dictating what we are to believe as parents in order for our children not to be expelled from school? I cannot look the other way when the school behaves poorly and neglects its obligations to our children and faculty. As parents, we are going to stand together to protect our children and individuals who are threatened or persecuted for speech.”
In one of the original communications with the Board of Trustees, Andrea and Amy asked for an independent investigation into the concerns voiced by parents, teachers, students, and alumni in the dozens of affidavits; a confidential ethics and compliance reporting line for the school community, including the teachers and students; and that the Board of Trustees better reflect the diversity of the school community as a whole as well as clarification on how Board of Trustee members are nominated and chosen.
To support the Pro CA Coalition, please visit www.procacoalition.com and sign up for the coalition’s newsletter.
Pro CA Coalition
The Pro CA Coalition stands for academic excellence, meaningful diversity and inclusion, respectful disagreement, and freedom of expression. Visit www.procoalition.com for more information.
SOURCE Pro CA Coalition