EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — On Wednesday evening, a brand-new parent teacher student association will be formed at East Cleveland’s Shaw High School.
For the first time in district history, school leaders told News 5 that the PTSA officers will be all men.
“It’s very exciting,” Beverly Bright-Lloyd, family engagement coordinator for East Cleveland City School District, said. “Women have been the face of the schools, the face of the PTAs and the men take a back seat because they feel it's time-consuming and they have a fixed mindset that women should be out front in the care and the education of children.”
The new PTSA consists of Gregory Broadwater, Melvin Drayton, Jamaras Emanuel, Isaiah Golsby and D’athan Little.
“I think it’s something different,” Emanuel said. “I think it throws a little swing in things and we’ll see if we can get it right.”
Bright-Lloyd said the shift marks a new way in which the district is trying to engage and empower families to take a proactive role in their children’s schooling.
“It’s not just the women who should take part in the education of children, it should be everyone,” she said. “It should be the village.”
It’s an idea that resonated with new PTSA 1st Vice President Melvin Drayton.
“When you have kids, you always think about your parents and your parents being there for you and the things you want to do better than your parents,” he said. “My mom was always a part of parent-teacher conferences, but she never was a part of PTA and I always wanted to know what that was like.”
Last December, the East Cleveland City School district got the green light from the Ohio Department of Education to start resuming overseeing its own operations, after being deemed by the state as a district under “distress.”
As part of that revitalization plan, that district created a parent teacher student association for each of its schools.
School district leaders aren’t quite sure the last time Shaw High School had an official PTA, but they know it’s been at least 15 years.