Photo by PoPville flickr user Jacques Arsenault
During my daily commute home on the D6 bus, about 15 – 20 students from Duke Ellington School board the bus at the stop at 35th Street NW & Dent Pl NW, toward Dupont Circle. During the bus ride, their behavior is completely disrespectful to other passengers. They are loud, vulgar, and disruptive. I understand they are teenagers, but this behavior is beyond anything I have experienced before. I have spoken with fellow passengers about this, and we are at a loss about what do to.
One time the bus driver stopped the bus and asked them to quiet down, which was helpful. But when I asked another driver to do this, he said it was “against the rules.”
I have had many positive interactions with students from Duke Ellington – I was recently on a flight with students in the Museum program that were traveling to Miami, Florida, and they were an incredibly positive representation of the school.
I wrote an email to the principal, but is there anything else I should do? Contact WMATA?”
And while on the topic:
“Grosso expresses support for Ellington and fair resolution to residency claims
The following is a statement from Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large), chairperson of the Committee on Education, regarding the Duke Ellington School of the Arts:
“The Duke Ellington School of the Arts is one of the premier public arts education high schools in the country, if not the world. The District of Columbia government and local philanthropic partners have put significant resources into the school, including most recently an extensive modernization of the building. This state of the art school is intended for, and ought to serve, residents of the District.
“Throughout my time as a Councilmember and as Chairperson of the Committee on Education, I have been an avid promoter of the arts, and of arts education in particular. My passion for the arts and the remarkable benefits they bring to our city extends to the storied Ellington. The entire District should be proud of this gem of a school.
“Last month, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) issued findings of non-residency against a number of students at Ellington. It is unacceptable that a large number of non-resident students may be attending such a premier institution of learning at the expense of District taxpayers. However, any implicated family who legitimately has residency in the District should be able to provide proper documentation and resolve the issue. My office has spoken with families who fit this category but find their efforts to cure the issue stymied. While I fully support OSSE rigorously enforcing our residency requirements, there must also be an opportunity for families to resolve inaccuracies. I am calling today on the Mayor and Attorney General to figure out a way to quickly and fairly resolve these circumstances so that families can move on or avail themselves of the due process rights that they are owed.
“Unfortunately, the challenging situation facing the school and these families has been muddied by real and perceived bias from neighbors toward Ellington students. This has led to supporters of the school worrying that it is being unfairly targeted in an attempt to remove it. I want every Ellington student, family, staff member, and supporter to know that I do not support any effort to end the Ellington program, relocate it, or otherwise diminish its strength.
“I believe that we can come out of this scenario with a stronger Ellington, serving more D.C. residents and with a more robust set of applicants as we put more emphasis on arts education in DCPS and charter K-8 schools. Ellington’s future in D.C. is a bright one.”