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Student Protesters Walk Out

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At 12:05 p.m. on Friday, March 9, the students of Schomburg Satellite Academy in the South Bronx walked out of their classes and marched to the office of State Senator Ruben Diaz at 900 Rogers Place.

The student-led protest was a response to a Department of Education plan that would place a charter school in their building, taking away 47.5% of the school’s classrooms.
 
A group of sixty students stood outside the Senator’s office, chanted, and displayed signs to the media, police, and onlookers. Senator Diaz conferenced with four representatives of the group, and emerged from the meeting with a message of support for their demands that no school should take away classrooms from the existing schools.
 
The protest came in preparation for the Joint Public Hearing for Schomburg Satellite Academy and Bronx Regional High School by the Department of Education and the SUNY Charter Schools Institute. Meeting information is listed below:
 
Bronx Regional Complex: Joint Public Hearing
1010 Rev. James A. Polite Avenue
Bronx, NY 10459

Monday, March 12 at 6:00 p.m.
 
The plan proposed by the Department of Education would reduce the number of classrooms in Satellite Academy by 47.5% and in Bronx Regional by 25.8% to make room for a new charter school backed by the Department of Education, starting in September 2012. It is opposed by the students, parents, community organizations, and the UFT chapters of both high schools.
 
“I am just trying to understand why we are always the last to know when it comes to decisions you make for our children,” contended Nona Sameuls, Satellite’s PTA President, in a March 7 meeting with Department of Education officials responsible for the plan. Parents and students were taken by surprise when the proposal for the new school was announced on February 2, 2012.

Strong opposition from parents and community members is expected at the March 12 hearing.

 

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Thomas Lockhart

was born June 8, 1953. Mr. Lockhart is a former Bronx resident from the Marble Hill section, and attended The Bronx High School of Science and Manhattan College. A former All-American basketball player at both institutions, he left for Europe in 1976 to pursue a professional career after a brief encounter with the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Continuing his education he actively plunged into corporate marketing communications with international companies like Philips, Alstom, Qiagen Instruments, KPMG, European Space Administration, ABN-Amro Bank and the Port of Rotterdam, while continuing to play ball and coach. Teaching English and advertising in Holland led to the setup of Ideas Unlimited, his own International Business Communications firm. Mr. Lockhart has lived and worked in various countries for the past 33 years, speaks German, French, Dutch and is currently learning Italian. Now residing near Zurich Switzerland, he has three children, Jarrett, 31 Chief of Staff with the Bronx City Council, 14th District, Maraya, 21 and Malik, 11. Tom is currently serving as Communications Manager and Asst. Operations Coordinator of the Marble Hill Reunion and Development Project.