Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Patrick Henry High School parents frustrated about proposed changes to honors courses

Carlos Castillo
The U.S. and California flags fly outside the Patrick Henry High School campus, April 22, 2022.

Parents of current or future Patrick Henry High School students packed an online meeting on Friday to express their frustration over proposed changes to the school’s curriculum.

The parents said a now-paused plan to reduce honors and advanced course offerings was created without any consent or conversation.

RELATED: AP exams are still on amid coronavirus, raising questions about fairness


In an email to parents, Principal Michelle Irwin wrote that the changes were for equity reasons.

For now, the changes have been put on hold so parents could give feedback.

RELATED: La Mesa's St. Martin of Tours Academy named national Green Ribbon School for environmental efforts

Parent Gavin Martinez was one of many who raised their concerns in an online forum Friday morning.

“I don't think that there’s equity when you dumb down classes and lose the opportunities for those people, or those students, who have an opportunity to advance themselves out of whatever predicament that they’re in to have a better life later,” he said.


RELATED: High school students rally for climate change solutions

Carlos Castillo
A sign on Patrick Henry High School's campus welcomes back students and staff, April 22, 2022.

Another parent, Lori Burke-Ellet, said cutting honors courses would put all of the students at the school at a disadvantage.

“The idea that my son, who excels in math, excels in science, excels in all that he does, even performance, would somehow have to have his equality stolen from him in order to provide for somebody else and call that equality is just unbelievable,” she said.

RELATED: Many Latino, African-American students opting out of AP classes

San Diego Unified instructional support officer Jen Roberson said Friday’s meeting was a time for her and other staff to listen to the parents.

“Many of you on this call feel that your voices have not been heard. And so, for that, we apologize to each and every one of you, and we recognize that,” Roberson said. “This is our opportunity to gather the input with the Henry cluster, to sit and to actively listen to you.”

Carlos Castillo
A few students and adults walk across Patrick Henry High School's campus, April 22, 2022.

District officials said this forum would help them see what the needs are for the students, so they can find a way forward.