Photo by The Georgetown Dish
Mia Pettus (right) and Brenda Lawrence at the Wilson Building
Mia Pettus (right) and Brenda Lawrence at the Wilson Building
Hardy Middle School students and parents braved the chilly, drizzly weather and demonstrated at the Wilson Building on President’s Day, holding signs and chanting for the reinstatement of Patrick Pope -- the long-time principal removed by Chancellor Mic
Hardy parents and students demonstrate in front of the Wilson Building for the return of their former principal, Patrick Pope (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Hardy parents and students demonstrate in front of the Wilson Building for the return of their former principal, Patrick Pope
helle Rhee last year -- and the restoration of the arts and music program for which the middle school was known. 
 
"Please, Mayor Gray, we believe you will help us," read one sign. "Mr. Gray, Mr. Pope cares. He always puts the children first," said another. Some of the signs showed children crying. "Please help us," one said.
 
Mia Pettus, a leader of the group, said the demonstrators were asking for Mayor Vincent Gray's attention to four areas: 1) lack of effective leadership at the school since the replacement of Hyde-Addison principal Dana Nerenberg by former Montgomery County principal Daniel Shea, 2) dismantling of landmark arts and music programs developed under Pope that earned the school a reputation for excellence, 3) restoration of the former schedule that allowed for more time for teaching music and art and other “laboratory” courses, and 4) safety and security
Channing Hames, a Hardy 8th grader, and Tannie Glenn, a parent, show why they protest (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Channing Hames, a Hardy 8th grader, and Tannie Glenn, a parent, show why they protest
for students.  Pettus, who lives in Takoma Park, said the group had presented these requests to representatives of the Mayor last month and believe “DCPS and now the mayor have turned their back on the children."
 
Other demonstrators expressed equally strong sentiments. Tannie Glenn, who lives in northeast near Ft. Totten and whose son Roderick Glenn II goes to Hardy, said: “We need our principal back.” Brenda Lawrence, another parent, has two nephews and one niece at the school.  She said, “It’s totally different now [since Patrick Pope left]; the students are not working together with the teachers.”
 
On the way to his office, Councilmember Phil Mendelson (At-Large) spoke with the
Councilmember Phil Mendelson discusses the Hardy issue with one of the demonstrators. (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Councilmember Phil Mendelson discusses the Hardy issue with one of the demonstrators.
demonstrators.  Hardy has to overcome its “reputation for turmoil and instability over the last year…literally and perceptively,” he said.
 
The demonstrators believe restoring Principal Pope is the fastest way to end Hardy's ongoing turmoil. “We going to keep showing up…we have lots of ideas,” she said.

0 Comments For This Article

Anonymous

With comments from both MIchelle Rhee and current Chancellor Kaya Henderson about Mr. Pope being an "excellent principal" why can't the Chancellor just put him back to end the school year? What is this administration afraid of?
Why is the voice of the Hardy community always denied?
Would this happen at Mann Elementary, Lafayette Elementary, School Without Walls?

Anonymous1

Why doesn't the author of this obviously biased "reporting" reveal his or her identity so we can at elast understand the basis for his or her bias? Where has been the discussion about letting this newly named and highly respected interim principal do his job? The author is clearly a member of the loud but small Pope Sisterhood.

How about doing an honest analysis of the way Mr. Pope restricted parent involvement or input into the way the school was operated? How about reporting on the dangers of bringing back a principal who made concerted efforts to close mere attendance at LSRT meetings to parents and others who were not elected to the LSRT?

Time for some balanced reporting or at least taking the mask off of the Georgetown Saucer to reveal his or her identity and bias.

Anonymous

Why is Mayor Gray risking negative publicity from an embarassingly very visible problem that he could easily solve by doing the obvious. Just stop dragging it out, just reappoint Mr. Pope and move on. He owes it to the kids.

Anonymous2

anonymous 1, It appears to me that YOU NEED TO TAKE OFF YOUR MASK. You must be one of those parents who are use to having your way and took part in running your childs elem. school. The LSRT had elected parent representatives and sometimes there were closed meetings, sometimes not. But whether the meetings were open or closed, Mr. Pope was an excellent adminsitrator, knew all of the kids by name, supported all the teachers and all of the students succeeded. Now it is just a big mess. Students running the halls, no respect, cutting classes, distroying school property and I gues you think that this is just great because Pope is not there. Stop looking at the small issues and concentrate on what is best for the students at Hardy. DC says, "Children First" but that is not the case at Hardy. It is a power struggle over who likes who, not what is best for our students.

Julius Agers

I will Un-Anonymously agree with Anonymous 2 !!!

Anonymous1

Dear Anonymous2: I am not a reporter pretending to be reporting the news like GTSaucer. By law LSRT meetings were not and are not allowed to be closed meetings. Has Mr. Pope made you think or act otherwise? Parents and the public have every right to observe those meetings but Mr. Pope treated parents who disagreed with him like trash. No, I'm not used to getting my way, but I am used to being engaged in my child's DCPS education. It is not "Children First" under Mr. Pope. It is Mr. Pope first, second and third. There are surely other principals who can run a school AND respect the rights of parents and students. The return to the days of Mr. Pope is not the answer to making Hardy a great school.

Anonymous 2

Its amazing Anonymous 1 that you still don't get it. They have 4 adminsitrators, 1 regional superintendent and now has hired 1 dean of students to try to get Hardy straight and for what purpose? All they need to do is put Mr. Pope back. What other school in DC has 6 administrators to run a school with 500 kids. They do not know what they are doing and if DCPS Henderson really cared about the kids at Hardy, She would put Mr. Pope back. There are always a few of parents who don't like the way a school is run, but if the kids are learning. making high test scores, enjoys the teachers and the administrators then something was definitely right. This is just a continuation on the way Rhee and the group of parents that she had meetings with from Key.A small group of white parents want their way. You do it my way or the highway. Mr. Pope did not treat parents like trash. A few parents might have had a run in with him, but you do not change the school environment which has been positive for over 7 years to chaos. It is sad and a terrible thing to do this to all of these kids just to please a few who think they know best. The kids at Hardy have lost over 6 months and you an others that think like you don't care about the kids. You don't see the damage that you and others have done. You are just full of anger and don't really care about these kids.

It is all a power play with your ideas being important and the kids being last. It is really sad YOU JUST DON'T GET IT!

marie

The man in the picture with Phil Mendelson is a con man who was fired from Anacostia and McKinley. He goes from school to school looking for an administrator DUMB ENOUGH TO HIRE HIM. He sold tennis shoes and fake pocketbooks out of his car at Anacostia.

HARDY PARENTS BEWARE.

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