December 17 - NOISE Report

Community activist Leo Louis hosted a third public meeting on elementary suspensions. Omaha Public Schools staff, concerned parents, and community members discussed the alarming suspension rate among young African-American students.


“ It’s on you first. So before we go in on anything else, we are going to take responsibility as a community first.”

OPS Board President, Marque Snow, attended the forum and took questions. Tonya Ward, elected to the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy, outlined her outrage and offered a recourse.

“I will ask the chair to put the suspensions on the agenda, the Learning Community January meeting. I need to hear you all roar. If they don’t put it on the agenda that means the ten million dollars, they don’t care about your child, and that is not acceptable to me.”

The Learning Community allows the 11 metro-area school districts to address academic performance gaps. I’m Riah Person.

For weeks now, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners has withstood strong disapproval from citizens regarding juvenile justice reform. LaVon Stennis-Williams, executive director of Reconnect Inc., spoke.

LaVon Stennis-Williams

LaVon Stennis-Williams

“We have no money going in North Omaha in twenty-nineteen to serve our kids and that is something we must correct.”

“I have a problem when an issue this important I have to come here and stand and I can’t even get the engagement of commissioners who the citizens elected.”

“I need you all to be able to ask questions of the people who took off from their day to be here. This is a disrespect. We are taxpayers.”

Laura McCormick, a private citizen, had this to say.

“There are enormous conflicts of interest in terms of who decides what is funded and much of the money does not go back into the communities where these kids come from. And Commissioner Rodgers, I have communicated with you about this repeatedly.”

“ I don’t understand why it is acceptable to the people that you represent that you are not more open to active engagement and also conversations about these issues.”

The commissioners have yet to provide extensive programs on how to reduce the number of troubled youths in juvenile detention.  I’m Luis Jimenez.  

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