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Style profiles Pinkney-Eppes

03/15/2008 5:49 PM by

Style Weekly’s The Insubordinate, a profile of Richmond PTA leader Tichi Pinkney-Eppes and her take on the Richmond Public School, includes as damning evidence a piece on the issues of a parent of a 9-year-old student at Chimborazo Elementary.

From the article

For the sake of her children, Tonya Hocker hopes Braxton is wrong about needing to accept high suspension rates as a part of educating Richmond. A single mother of four city students, Hocker supports her family by working at a local beauty salon. Intent on a better life for her children than what she experienced in Gilpen Court — one of the city’s most dangerous housing projects — she recently moved her family to Church Hill.

The life-altering move has proven less positive for Hocker’s 9-year-old daughter, Jazmine. At George Washington Carver Elementary School, Jazmine was an honor student with straight As and no record of disciplinary problems. Quiet to a fault, Hocker says, Jazmine’s greatest challenge in the classroom was her shyness.

“She shuts down on me when she’s nervous,” Hocker says. “She’s very shy and reserved.”

What Carver teachers helped her overcome, her new teacher at Chimborazo Elementary saw as an act of defiance, leading to her daughter’s suspension from school twice and her eventual banishment to the Richmond Alternative Program at Blackwell, a self-contained reform-type school reserved typically for kids with chronic, sometimes dangerous discipline problems.


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