Mount Vernon students return to classroom; parents demand action on violence

While parents are demanding more be done to protect students, children in Mount Vernon were back in the classroom Wednesday for the first time since the murder of one of their classmates.

News 12 Staff

Apr 20, 2022, 9:39 AM

Updated 819 days ago

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While parents are demanding more be done to protect students, children in Mount Vernon were back in the classroom Wednesday for the first time since the death of one of their classmates.
Kayla Green, 16, was stabbed to death earlier this month after the city had just finished celebrating the boys' basketball team's win in the state championship.
Organizers held a rally Tuesday to demand that something is done to end the violence. They want the superintendent and Board of Education to address bullying in the district.
"We requested copies of police reports from the Mount Vernon Police Department and were turned away," says Richard Thomas, a spokesperson for Kayla Green's family. "We also asked for information from the Mount Vernon City School District, detailing the bullying that was recorded over the many years but went unchecked"
Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton is resigning from his position in the district effective June 30, but many want that to happen much sooner. Hamilton will be stepping into the leadership role in the Edgemont School District.
Hamilton has been with the Mount Vernon School District since 2014. He worked on mending the gap on a number of issues, including enhancing programs at the district and funding urgent infrastructure. However, one of the most pressing issues now is student safety.
Between the tragic fatal stabbing and shots fired outside a school in February, parents and community members are demanding change now.
"With the tragedy of Kayla Green, it's making things worse," says Jesse Van Lew, community activist. "The thing is we haven't heard any statements from the Mount Vernon school super."
At a board of education meeting Tuesday, parents took to the podium to demand immediate cooperation. One mom voiced how she was concerned for her child's safety.
"I come before you this evening because her life and the lives of her cheer family are in danger," says Mount Vernon parent Antoinette King. "The team as a whole has been receiving death threats."
"Something has gone wrong here, and it's time for a change. Without it, we are all to blame," says Mount Vernon boys varsity assistant coach Dwayne Murray. "I am saddened and heartbroken as a mother. No one deserves to lose their child as Kayla's mom has," says Antoinette King.
News 12 reached out to the school district for comment but didn't hear back.


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