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MIAMI (CBSMiami)—Journalists with The Atlantic magazine led the conversation Monday night about the current state of Miami’s public schools.

The town hall meeting at the Black Box Theater was part of a series called “School Across America.”

It brought politicians, teachers, students and parents together to air out their concerns over a variety of topics.

They discussed how to talk and listen to your kids and the things you could do to make a difference in your community.

Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho was involved in the discussion.

“What we saw was a dramatic increase in enrollment at the same time a dramatic increase in performance,” he said of the changes in graduation rates and student progress.

Precious Symonette, a creative writing teacher at Miami Norland Senior high school, explained the importance of letting your kids know to speak up when they think something is wrong.

“As adults we want to be in front of our kids and talk as if we know everything but lets just be honest, we are not always the experts,” Symonette said.

At the heart of the conversation was Parkland. One speaker said, “The gun laws that we have in our state are deplorable.”

“Why am I gonna go run and tell a teacher about something thats happening when I’m gonna feel as if I’m going to be demonized,” another speaker said.

While some did not agree on certain topics, others stood on the same ground. However, everyone seemed to be on the same page when it came to talking about the Parkland tragedy.

Frank Zenere, a school psychologist, talked about his personal experience with a shooting of this magnitude back in Connecticut.

“5 years ago I stood before teachers and parents in Connecticut following the Sandy Hook shooting and although the city has changed, the name of the school has changed and, of course, the names of the deceased children and staff have changed, the theme is all too familiar,” Zenere said.


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