The location of the I-5 Interstate freeway directly adjacent to Harriet Tubman Middle School has created poor air quality for the HTMS students. The proposed I-5 Rose Quarter improvement project would further cut into the HTMS campus, threatening to worsen the air quality and exacerbate negative health impacts for the students during construction and over the long term.
PPS is looking at Option A, to purchase and build a new Harriet Tubman Middle School somewhere within the borders of the catchment area. PPS is also looking at Option B, to close one of 4 schools: Sabin, Irvington, Boise-Eliot or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the last two of which are historically African-American schools., in order to renovate and build a new Harriet Tubman Middle School.
"MLK is home. My dad says it's a dream that his grandkids go to school there, you don't see that anymore in Portland. MLK is a family, it feels like home. Doesn't matter what race you are, we come together from the office staff, teachers, the kids, support staff, it makes me mad at them that they want to take it away. They've been gentrifying and moving us out, they keep targeting Black schools. They've tried to shut down Jefferson [High School] so many times over the last 30 years. They want to move the Black community out."
- Tiffany Robinson, MLK parent and President of the PTA
"The PTA's consensus is we want the best for both schools. I went to Tubman, my son is going to Tubman. I want Northeast Portland to continue to thrive. I don’t want them to close one for another. I moved back to Portland from Arkansas to have my kids walk the same path I walked. I don’t want to let go of that. It’s important to have Black schools in a White state."
-Tyler Brown, MLK parent and Vice President of the PTA
"Think of the neighborhood, look at redlining. My great great grandparents time, that was the only area where any Black people could buy homes and that's why there are so many Black people. And for PPS to say "We don't want to displace the Black community or a Black school", well we have to go all the way back and look at the things you've been doing. That hasn't been acknowledged by the city or from you as a school district (PPS)."
"In order to really understand the gravity of what we are asking and where the frustration is coming from, you have to understand the years and years and decades of trauma that the community has faced. And now we're coming back as a school district and saying that our hands are tied and we got to do something (which we do) but who is being impacted by this? Black families. I want us to be crystal clear that the reason we are seeing this [community] push back and the reason why people are irritated and frustrated is because once again 'White America' is coming in and telling Black families we are going to make things better for you, but you gotta go."
-Herman Greene, Board of Directors Zone 4, PPS Board of Education
On PPS community outreach: "If we're talking about equity, we should not even have this [PPS & Sabin community] meeting until we talk to the Black and Brown families of who will be affected the most. Working with community-based organizations is not the same as reaching out to the families who are going to have transportation changes and childcare changes and whose lives are going to be impacted once again."
-Chrysanthius Lathan, Principal at Sabin Elementary School
Write letters to individual PPS board members (letters can also be dropped off at the mail slot by the office and will be hand delivered). Board Members 501 N. Dixon Street, Portland, Oregon, 97227.
Share this website to other concerned community members and friends.
Attend our school's MLK Day Celebration on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 at 3 PM at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
Donate to the PTA. The PTA has a Memberhub account where donations will be used for the upcoming MLK event and for resources to save our school.
January 26, 2022, The Oregonian: https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2022/01/opinion-pps-shouldnt-displace-one-historically-black-school-for-another.html
January 25, 2022, KOIN: https://www.koin.com/news/education/brown-seeks-120m-for-relocation-of-tubman-middle-school/
January 17, 2022, KBOO: https://www.kboo.fm/media/107270-save-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-school
January 17, 2022, KGW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsJjTLoreBw
January 14, 2022, Fox 12 Oregon: https://www.koin.com/local/multnomah-county/mlk-jr-elementary-pta-we-need-to-preserve-our-historically-black-schools/
January 14, 2022, Oregon Live: https://www.oregonlive.com/galleries/7NSNKNFLZZD33GUYRKIKJFH4CE/
January 14, 2022, Samantha Swinder, Editor at the Oregonian: https://twitter.com/editorswindler/status/1482151136488345600?s=12
December 21, 2021, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OBP): https://www.opb.org/article/2021/12/21/portland-school-officials-start-making-moves-to-relocate-harriet-tubman-middle-school/