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Bennett High teacher says school gets 'a bum rap'

WBFO News file photo

A ground swell of support is growing among groups and community members calling to keep failing city schools from closing. On Wednesday evening, a rally is expected outside the Buffalo School Board meeting where board members are scheduled to take a final vote on four failing schools.

WBFO's Focus on Education reporter talked to a teacher at Bennett High School.

"It's got a bum wrap. It's really good actually," said Stuart Bulan, history teacher at Bennett High on Main Street in Buffalo. 

Bennett, East High School, Lafayette and Martin Luther King are all failing schools that the State Education Department has threatened to close. But Bulan tells WBFO News in his experience at Bennett,   students and teachers are trying their best.  

"They have a lot to offer. In my opinion, they're being robbed of an opportunity to complete their education, if indeed they do close it," said Bulan.

An unidentified Bennettt employee was disappointed to learn that Tapestry Charter School had already been inside the school building to scope it out. The charter school is interested in taking over the building.

Meanwhile, Bulan noted it's an uphill battle and he believes the school board majority that wants Bennett shut down.

"Communication is not always great, but our understanding it's a 5 to 4 vote against us to close to go to a charter school," said Bulan.

Bulan points to the longtime history and strong alumni of Bennett in supporting the schools future.

"But no one listens. The minds seem to be made up, unfortunately," said Bulan.

Those in support of keeping the failing schools open are being urged to attend Wednesday night's school board meeting that will be held at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts on Masten Avenue.


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