By JAY CLARK
AAP contributing writer
MINNEAPOLIS (July 10, 2012) — Around 20 Henry High Hmong family members made their voices heard at the Minneapolis school board meeting. They told school board members that they wanted the Go-To city bus pass to be optional, with school bus rides available for the 2012-2013 school year.
The parents told school board members that they were concerned for the safety of the children, and angry that they were not consulted on the plans to switch to city buses.
They said that many Hmong families still do not know about the city bus plans, and more time is needed to answer parent’s many questions. They also said that if the Go Card was an option, and some Henry students use the card without problems, it was the best way to help persuade Hmong families that using the Go-To card can be safe.
After the testimony to the school board officials, the Hmong families talked with school staff about their concerns that so many parents don’t know about the switch to city buses, and their worries that some Hmong families will choose to transfer their children to schools that provide school buses.
The trip to the Minneapolis school board meeting caps 3 months of efforts by Henry High Hmong families to make the Go-to card optional and keep school buses available for the 2012-2013 school year. Since late April Hmong students and familes have collected more than 1100 postcards and sent them to two school board members: met with school board members Monserrate and Ellison: sent letters to all the school board members: testified to the Minneapolis school board: and gone on Hmong radio.
At the Victory Neighborhood Ice Cream Social, Henry Asian club members also talked with councilmember Barb Johnson and state representatives Joe Mullery and Bobby Joe Champion about the concerns in the Hmong community about city bus rides to school.