Community members march for more diversity on DD2 school board

VIDEO: Community members march for diversity

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Parents and community activists marched through Summerville Saturday afternoon calling for changes in Dorchester District two.

Louis Smith, executive director of the Community Resource Center said the goal of the march is to urge both the district and legislators to take extra steps in ensuring equal represenation in school board leadership.

"As it stands now, we have one monolithic school board and we're living in a very diverse community in which we need to make change, we need to make change now," Smith said.

The group is asking for single-member school board districts within DD2, allowing board members to represent specific areas they live in.

Such action would have to come from a state level.

This week, legislators passed a bill that would add single-member school board districts to neighboring Charleston County.

Smith said he hopes the same happens for Dorchester.

"I'm so happy about that. That passed. That means people will have equal representation and that's what its all about," Smith said. "Dorchester county demographics have changed drastically in the last five years."

Parent David Diaz, has two children in DD2 schools. While he says he likes the schools his students attend, he's supportive of change to help other parents who may not feel as represented.

"I actually love the schools that they're in," Diaz said. "Both the schools that my kids go to, they have a very diverse staff. But the problem lies in, the board's not diverse.

"This is not about race or creed or religion or anything like that," organizer Sharea Washington said. "It's just simply about the efficiency that we have with our children."

DD2 spokesperson, Patricia Raynor sent a statement saying, “The school district is supportive of community members’ involvement in the election of school board members to serve the children of the community. Voters will have the opportunity in November to choose the candidates to fill

the three seats on our 7-member school board that will be open."

In the meantime, Smith says he hopes the district can take additional measures to address concerns in the community.

"They can come out and say, 'Okay we don't have anyone running or anyone on the board, however we can create a diversity board and work with the community,'" Smith said.

A DD2 spokesperson said that the school district does not have involvement in how school board members are elected. Changes to the process of selecting school board members would need to be made by state legislators

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