PORTLAND, Ore. — Parents and administrators at Roseway Heights Middle School held a virtual meeting Wednesday night to talk about safety following a walkout last week that ended with fights.
Some parents described the incident as a brawl and at least one student needed medical attention.
The meeting on Nov. 10 was for Roseway Heights families only and not open to the public, like a Portland Public Schools Board of Education meeting. One parent described the discussion as an important step in bringing the school community together.
Last week, a group of middle schoolers walked out of the school as an act of protest, in response to incidents of sexual harassment among the students, according to school leaders.
In a letter obtained by KGW News to families at the school, the principal said the event escalated and fights broke out between some of the students.
Late last week in a statement, a Portland Public Schools regional superintendent reported the district is aware of sexual harassment allegations at the school made against other students through social media, and that the school system is also aware that students of color are sharing discriminatory experiences and targeted racist language between their peers.
"I think that it's important for children to feel safe at school. If you're feeling safe in school, you were able to learn. It's a basic need," said parent Deziré Clarke Meindersee.
She is advocating for the safety of all students at the school, workable solutions to support students like restorative justice, and a different approach to resolving conflict in the classroom.
"Tonight's community meeting was to address the stress that is now evident," Meindersee said. "We're doing what we can to really address the social and emotional needs of everyone involved."