Students address major concerns with school board

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Hot button, controversial issues discussed Thursday night as dozens of student leaders call a meeting with school board members. It was the first forum of its kind.

Students took their concerns to the floor, attempting to make their voices loud and clear. Some of the big issues Thursday night: the quality of school lunches and the consequences for school bullying.

“My question is why does it take three times for someone to be severely punished and it only takes one time for a student to be pushed off edge to commit suicide,” says Carver High senior, Aziaza Smith.

Aziaza Smith is a senior at Carver High. She’s also a member of the Tigers of the Prowl, an organization that works to solve issues that teens often face. Thursday, at Rothschild Leadership Academy she brought up a recent cyber-bullying issue.

“Students being exposed and that’s them being nude or just simple rumors,” says Aziaza Smith.

Smith says students created an Instagram page, calling it the ‘Col-Gashaderoom.’ Col-Ga is short for Columbus, Georgia. Smith says the Instagram page was similar to the actual online Shaderoom publication.

The actual Shaderoom source is known for exposing people in a negative light. Thursday, school board members weighed in.

“Our discipline code allows for the discretion of principals. On that first offense based on the severity and based on the investigation to apply the appropriate consequences,” says Muscogee County School Board Chair, Pat Hughley-Green.

News 3 searched for the Columbus, Georgia Shaderoom page, but we found no record of the page.

Another issue that was raised, the quality of school lunches, specifically at Shaw High School.

“I’m not eating this. The first thing I did was take a picture of it, sent it to my parents and asked them what is this?” says Shaw High junior, Chasity Murray.

Chasity Murray, provided News 3 with video. It shows cookies repeatedly being banged on a table and not breaking. Murray also provided a picture. She says it’s a burrito that was served at the school.

“We have to do something about it because you want the test scores and our progress in school to increase but we’re not getting the food that we need throughout the day. I rather go a whole day without eating and wait until I get home than eat at school,” says Murray.

Student leaders say there was some testing of foods that could stand to be improved. They say they came up with a list of foods that were expected to be added to the lunch menu. News 3 is told minor changes were made.

School officials say they will regroup with students to come up with a better school lunch plan.

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