Harrisburg school district officials, student-organizer respond to Sci-Tech walkout

Harrisburg

A few days into the school year, Sci-Tech students learned that their principal, Dr. Sieta Achampong, would only spend one day a week at their school, spending the bulk of her time at Harrisburg High School. 

“We know how powerful we can be as a group. So, we figured that we should make our mission heard,” said Layani Lester, Sci-Tech senior, who organized the walk-out. 

Achampong is taking over duties until the district can find a replacement for Dr. Lisa Love, who stepped down as principal from Harrisburg High shortly after grading inconsistencies were found at the school. 

“It’s spreading Dr. A. thin. Yes, she can do it, and trust me, she is capable, but she shouldn’t have to,” Layani said. 

While Board President Judd Pittman agreed that the change is going to be somewhat disruptive, he said it wasn’t up to the board. 

“We can make requests. We can push around on what our thoughts are, but ultimately, that is the administration’s choice,” Pittman said. 

Since the walk-out, several students from both schools have exchanged tense comments online. 

Layani wants the arguing to stop and says she wants what’s best for both schools.

“Just looking at it it’s going to look like, ‘Oh, they’re angry. They’re upset. They need to go back to class.’ You’re not gonna understand how this affects us because you’re not a kid at Sci-Tech,” Layani said. 

Pittman said the options were weighed and the district decided that this plan put students at the least risk. 

“This is the best decision, and there isn’t anybody else in this district that in the interim basis until we get a principal, meet those needs — then, that’s what we gotta do,” Pittman said. 

“Our school is all we have. We’re a little building. Everyone knows each other. So, it’s something we do for our family,” Layani said. 

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