Parents from St. Mary Parish reached out to NEWS15 after learning their young children’s nap time and play during school hours are being stripped away. The principal of their school, Barbara Leleux, is refusing to give in to the policy, and might be losing her job.
Parents from Wyandotte Elementary are outraged with the situation and don’t understand why St. Mary Parish school superintendent Dr. Teresa Bagwell is forcing the school to conform to departmentalization even though they are the second highest performing elementary school in the parish.
Parents gathered outside Wyandotte Elementary School Friday to give a voice to St. Mary parish elementary school teachers and their principal, Barbara Leleux. A Kindergarten teacher at a St. Mary Parish school sent a text to one parent that read, let them know that if they asked teachers across the parish we would all agree with you. However, we have been bullied into silence. We are threatened with our jobs. We can’t even share our opinions on Facebook.”
All other elementary schools in the parish started following the policy last year, but Wyandotte Elementary’s principal didn’t want the kindergarten and first grade students to lose their nap and play time just so they could switch between three teachers during the day. Jean Paul Bourg, a parent from Wyandotte expressed frustration for his children, “completely change the schedule for these young children and Ms. Barbara’s quote is that she sees it as child abuse to make them have to do that.”
Parents don’t see the need to change Wyandotte’s schedule because the school is the second highest performing elementary in the parish, Bourg says, “what’s the fight here? Why are they picking a fight with a school that has no issues and has a fantastic principal. Ms. Barbara is getting the school to perform at the top with a diverse group of kids.”
Principal Leleux and teachers couldn’t make a statement, but Wyandotte parents believe Leleux knows how to best run the school and it’s diverse group of students.
NEWS15 reached out to St. Mary Parish school superintendent, Dr. Bagwell several times, but still haven’t heard from her.
According to the parents who had a meeting with the school board, the school system’s argument for departmentalization in elementary schools is that teachers are given more prep time and are able to focus on certain subjects.