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Richmond school teacher emphasizes ‘something needs to change’

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - On Tuesday night, CBS 6 aired an investigation looking into the teacher turnover rates at Richmond Public Schools.

The investigation started after several former Martin Luther King Middle School teachers reached out to CBS 6 Reporter Chelsea Rarrick about frustrations at the school, saying they quit in the middle of the school year.

Since the story aired, CBS 6 has received dozens of emails from teachers and parents in the Richmond Public School (RPS) system. One email said the administrative system fails to hold students accountable, while another said teachers are conditioned to believe they are at the bottom of the totem pole.

"At many of our schools there is a serious culture and climate issue, and that is the result of leadership," said RPS School Board member, Glen Sturtevant.

A current RPS teacher spoke Wednesday night about their concerns.

"There are absolutely no repercussions for the student's actions. There's no accountability," said the RPS teacher.

The teacher did not want to reveal their identity, but said it's their first year teaching in Richmond and they've already had thoughts of leaving after this school year.

"Something needs to change, or it's just going to be a continuous cycle and that would be very unfortunate not only for the teachers, but for the students who do come to school to actually learn," said the teacher.

Sturtevant agrees something needs to change, and said the board is doing what they can to address these concerns.

"The system is really broken. If you want to get rid of an ineffective leader, ineffective principal, assistant principal, the amount of red tape and bureaucratic hoops that we have to jump through to make that happen is one of the prime reasons why we lose so many of these great teachers," said Sturtevant.


  • Jessica

    You may not mean to be racist but you sound like it. Poverty no matter your race leads to problems in the community and school. It just so much easier to blame race. How would you explain blacks who are successful or whites who are not?

  • Manalishi

    “At many of our schools there is a serious culture and climate issue, and that is the result of leadership,” said RPS School Board member, Glen Sturtevant.” Consistent democrat leadership destroys every entity it infects. Prove me wrong.

      • John

        I’m guessing that you nactually believe the BS coming out of the administration. I’m also guessing that you believe that 17 trillion of debt (and climbing) is OK, that the actual unemployment rate is 6.7%, that we are fine having the lowest work force participation rate in 35 years, that Obamacare is a cure for what ails our medical system. All that and even more says something far different than the economy “inclining”……OBTW, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you!

      • athynz

        Then explain the surplus money Virginia had under republican governors. Explain the surplus Bush Sr. left Clinton – who then led us into a deficit. Explain the increasing deficit under Obama. Explain the constant raises of the debt ceiling under Obama.

        Roasted, toasted, and smoldering. You’re gonna need some burn cream.

  • FactsJack

    Any expectation of civil behavior of any and all students seems to be
    excuse by recipients of subsidies and government hierarchy as a
    continuous circle.

  • FactsJack

    Poor wasn’t an acceptable excuse for failure of a free educational opportunity to raise up and out of poor until the Government’s War on Poverty. Now poor and governments both use excuses to hide their
    failures Poor doesn’t excuse behaviors and attitudes widely
    recognized as civil conduct.

  • Matt Ellen

    White, Black, Yellow, Red, polka-dot etc…….Color does not matter. It is the parents who need to teach the children how to respect their elders and to respect each other. When the parents do not care, the kids do not care. Rich or poor doesn’t matter either. It’s all about RESPECT!

  • bradly

    so the race of the students doesn’t matter,thats funny.So the fact eric holder sent letters to school leaders telling them to target white children more doesn’t matter?The fact that Henrico county has taken the approach that blacks do not cause more issues in school,they are just punished more is not a issue?Give me a break,the race card is old and you have reached your limit,its now revoked and we will soon send to collections.This is about race and the fact is black students cause more issues,look at the numbers,look at the facts because they are not racist they are facts

  • Katy

    As a mother of 2 RPS students, I have been praised by several teachers for giving my children “home training”,teaching manners and being involved in their educational experience. I’ve found it alarming that this wasn’t the norm for most families in this school district for whatever reasons. There are children being raised by older siblings while their parents are working multiple jobs, overwhelmed grandparents raising children, then there are the parents who lack any kind of skill or care to raise a responsible,well mannered child. The teachers of RPS are emotionally and physically exhausted. Ive walked into classrooms where the kids are running wild, using abusive language and there are no repercussions! My son was bullied and beaten up in the 3rd grade, I did not even get the courtesy of a phone call to let me know it had happened, not to mention the fact the children involved were not disciplined in any way. This system is beyond broken!

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