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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022


The Education Department could find itself in yet another lawsuit as early as Monday morning. Members of the Central High School Parent Teacher Association are threatening to file suit against Education over the many problems at the 36-year-old St. Croix school.
The problems range from leaking roofs to unsanitary conditions to structurally deficient buildings.
Talk of a suit against the DOE emerged Sunday evening at the end of a PTA meeting.
Claudette Petersen, PTA president, who described the problems at CHS as "frustrating and serious," showed a video of the school’s more significant trouble spots. She called on parents to join her in the PTA’s fight for improvements at the school.
"Central will only get better if we rally together for change. Mrs. Petersen can’t do it alone. The PTA can’t do it alone," she said during the meeting.
Parent after parent expressed frustration at the conditions and appeared even more irate at the Education Department's perceived indifference.
One parent shouted, "We should keep all our children home as a message to the administration, do you think they can lock us all up?"
The reference was to a Virgin Islands law which requires school-aged children to be at school.
Sen. Adelbert Bryan, who was in attendance, encouraged parents and teachers to take action against the government "for its failure to provide the basic learning environment for your children."
He said the courts will be the only remedy to these ongoing problems.
"Remember, Gov. Charles Turnbull was arrested in the '70s for failing to comply with a court deadline for improvements to the schools," Bryan said.
One PTA official suggested an attorney be hired to provide legal guidance in preparing to file suit against the government. "Enough is enough," Jonathan James said.
By the end of the meeting, Petersen was as determined as ever to head to the courts. "They are angry enough to take a stand, and this lawsuit will be the beginning."

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