Polk County parents complain of bad conditions at elementary school, hold walkout-now some relief

Parents at a Polk County School staged a walkout Monday morning to protest conditions they said were 'unacceptable.'

The situation prompted several school board staff and Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy to hold an impromptu meeting with the parents to address their concerns.

And after that meeting, parents expressed some hope that there may be some type of resolution,

Here's is what LeRoy pledged,

"I said please trust me, give me the opportunity to try and resolve some of these concerns you have," said Le Roy.

The walk out was planned just last week. And on Monday, approximately 25 parents and their kids walked out of Jesse Keen Elementary. The parents complained the kids were bullied, neglected and several were also served spoiled milk at the schools cafeteria.

"They're relating to it as 'oh it's not that bad,'" said parent Brandi Hoffman, who organized the walk out. She has twins that attend the school. She said she wanted to help other parents who she felt needed a voice.

"The hispanic parents are overwhelmed they are frustrated," said Hoffman.

Most of the families that walked out were Hispanic, over 50% of Jesse Keen is of that origin.

They also complained of ESOL programs that were not up to par, enough they said teachers left because they felt the programs were inadequate.

Marta Serna walks her kids in to school everyday, because she said they've come home to complain of bullying by the staff.

"I come every day because the ladies that she has working in the cafeteria, they're screaming at the kids, they snap their fingers at the kids," she says.

The school is already under the district's radar, last year Jesse Keen Elementary earned a 'D' grade under the Florida grading system, just one above 'Failing.'

Parents also said they've gone to the principal to complain, but that instead, the police were called to remove them from campus when they tried to check on their children.

"It makes me feel deplorable that I can allow something like this to go on on a day to day basis and me not do anything about it. i had to step in. I had to intervene," says Brandi Hoffman.

Over the course of the morning, several school board staff arrived at the school to hear concerns from the parents.

All of them said this was the first time they've heard of any of the allegations.

The parents refused to meet with the school board unless the media was invited in to hear the meeting, and some parents flat out refused to meet with the principal at all.

It wasn't until Polk County Schools Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy made an impromptu appearance did they feel like they could meet.

Media was not invited in the meeting with the parents, but some said their concerns were heard. Hoffman recorded the meeting and said she is hopeful.

"i feel like they really listened and I can only hope that something is done, because this treatment is just not right," said Hoffman.

LeRoy says she heard enough to hold another meeting with the parents.

"I'm coming back in a week for two hours, I've got to go back now and do some fact finding on my side," LeRoy said.

LeRoy also said she plans of having another in depth conversation with the principal.

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