Students organize sit-in day of C-30 Level 1 Committee interviews

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During the day of the C-30 Level 1 Committee interviews, students organized a sit-in on the third floor in front of the principal’s conference room. Students expressed concern regarding the lack of transparency in the C-30 process; their goal was to meet the candidates and unveil the secrecy of the process. The Classic live-streamed parts of the event and filmed candidates as they walked into the building.

The sit-in was held on Wednesday, March 15. Following an article that published statistics regarding the number of students who supported Ms. Jahoda, students were surprised to find that Ms. Jahoda still received an interview and were intent on having the Department of Education (DOE) listen to their voices in protest.

Sophomore Michelle Lee said, “I want[ed] to show the DOE that people in this school do not support what they’re doing, and that we all care about our school and want someone from our school community to lead our school.”

The hashtag “#transparenC-30” was circulated during the sit-in. Many students also commented on allegations of bias behind the process, questioning the decision to reject both Assistant Principals Ellen Fee and Susan Brustein, whom they considered to be highly experienced and qualified candidates.

Junior Lauren Rudin stated, “We want[ed] more transparency for the C-30 process, and we’re in support of [those] who applied for this job but were all denied interviews. It’s extremely unfair of the DOE to do this to us.”

Freshman-Sophomore Class President Max Kurant was one of the organizers of the sit-in. During the sit-in, he spoke to students saying he wanted them to “pressure” the DOE so student voices were not ignored. Following the sit-in, he commented, “The sit-in definitely accomplished one of its main purposes, which is being hard to ignore. The candidates could not ignore us as they walked through that hall to their interviews. The DOE cannot ignore a community that overwhelmingly stands up together for a cause. We plan to continue putting pressure on them until they finally listen to us. They say they are listening, but actions speak louder than words. They aren’t.”

Max also pointed out the high freshmen turnout at the rally, seeing it as a sign of schoolwide unity. Some freshmen said that even though Ms. Jahoda was the only principal they have had at THHS, they do not believe her to be a fit representative of the school community. When asked why he was attending the rally, freshman Kelvin Yip said “[I was there] to fight for the future of my class and the rest of the school.”

Senior Vanessa Lau commented, “The C-30 process has become so obscure that many students in our school cannot comprehend what is going on. Honestly, it seems as though they are doing this on purpose to remove any possibility of our input in this process. While I cannot attest to the candidates, I do believe that we should have knowledge of anyone who applied and their relative histories in education. We aren’t asking for their entire personal backstories, only what is relevant to the issues that affect us. Knowing that many teachers are willing to leave this school if a certain person is placed makes me feel uncertain for the future of our school and all my friends that I leave behind. I want the best for my community and holding this sit in is what I thought would be best.”

Senior Grace Chung commented, “Even though we’re leaving soon and this shouldn’t really affect us, we can’t help but think about all of the students and teachers that are still going to be here.”

Max concluded, “We’re not giving up and we will keep fighting. If the DOE thinks it’s over and we lost, and that our community means nothing to them and that they can ignore it just for their selfish agenda, then it’s just the beginning. Stay tuned.”