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Parents express anger at Patrick Henry High School meeting after 'pause' on honor courses

A second listening session for Patrick Henry High School Friday gave parents another chance to make their voices heard.

SAN DIEGO — Patrick Henry High School parents were given another chance to make their voices heard at a second listening session Friday and CBS 8 is working for you to get answers. Some parents say decisions were made without any consent or conversation. But parents also say they’re worried about their children’s future.

On Thursday, the first listening session for Patrick Henry High School parents went beyond the slated 1-hour time frame.    

Parents were able to speak their minds after Principal Michelle Irwin decided to cut honors courses, then most recently put a pause on the decision.  

"We’re looking forward to hearing from you to make the best decisions for our students," said Principal Irwin.

Other than the introduction, Irwin made no remarks during the entire session Thursday night, many wanted to hear from her.  

"I'd like to know in this phone call, why Miss Irwin is not speaking to the parents because I wanted to hear from her, not to back up with everyone defending her. I’d like to know what pausing does for anyone including the students," said parents on the call.

Back in February, Irwin emailed parents a message stating that AP courses would be cut for equity reasons.

She pointed to the racial disparity between honors and non-honors courses.

However, parents say cutting honors courses would make it even more challenging for kids trying to get into college.

Cutting honors courses essentially caps the grade point average at “4.0” and parents say that’s not enough to be competitive.

"My oldest just got in with a 4.5 GPA and she received a lot of money for her college because of her grade point average, now you’re taking that away from my other child at Henry because she’ll not be able to have that high GPA," said one parent.

Jen Roberson instructional support officer mediated the event.  She reiterated throughout the night that she was listening to everyone’s concern.  

"The true goal for all of us is to build a vision for what it looks like and feels like in the Patrick Henry cluster," said Roberson. 

WATCH RELATED: Principal at San Diego's largest high school 'pauses' decision to cut honors classes (April 2022)

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