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Students protesting at Carmen High School after 'fine arts' classroom removed

Posted at 11:14 AM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 19:36:37-04

MILWAUKEE — Students at Milwaukee's Carmen High School are protesting with their parents after Milwaukee Public Schools officials attempted to revoke access to a fine arts classroom on Wednesday.

Carmen High School South shares a space with another Milwaukee Public School's site, "ALBA," the Academia De Languaje Y Bellas Artes. MPS refers to the combined school site as the "Walker Complex."

Protests continued for a second day outside of the school Thursday morning.

Parents say that "Room 11" was used by Carmen HS as an art room, music education space, library, advising office and professional development space for staff. Students who attend Carmen HS say that officials attempted to clear the room Wednesday after changing the locks.

"As students, we have respected this room and have been treating it as our own because it means a lot to us," said Emely Zavaleta, a student at Carmen HS.

MPS released a statement saying that released a statement saying, saying that they hope the space can be used by both schools that share the site.

"ALBA and Carmen South share space in the Walker Complex. Both schools are high performing MPS charter schools. The district has been collaborating with both leadership teams to ensure space utilization for both programs. We understand Carmen’s disappointment with the allocation for the current year. We will continue to explore possible options that satisfy programming for both schools. The passion from ALBA and Carmen students, staff and families demonstrates their commitment to such strong academic programs," a district spokesperson said.

"Our latino community is unrepresented. This is a way for our students to get noticed. Carmen students have submitted art work posted in the Art Museum in downtown Milwaukee. Taking away our form of expression is unfair," said Zavaleta.