Unapologetically Demanding Excellence for OUR Children
Inspired by Camden Student Walkouts, Camden Parent Union began in May 2014 when a few community members decided to organize and support Camden Students. We are a group of concerned Camden parents, care givers and guardians that work diligently advocating for better education, safer schools, equal funding, maximum resources and inclusion in any decisions that are made for our children’s education. Our organization challenges the status quo, holding our leaders accountable and fighting for solutions that will transform society. CPU organizes to see the quality of urban public education be given the same opportunity as suburban education and corporate charter education. CPU will continue to educate, empower and organize the parents of Camden, New Jersey and be a voice for and advancing the traditional public schools of Camden, NJ.
CPU holds monthly community meetings to educate and empower the parents and caregivers of Camden, NJ public schools about policy, curriculum, parent and student’s rights and much more.
We travel to different schools throughout the school district advocating and organizing for issues and concerns for parents and students in that school.
We create an environment for every parent to know that their concerns are important. It is always our practice to find out what the parents and students want to do and where the CPU can help.
We lend a helping hand of solidarity to other community organizations and unions in our efforts to continue to show a unified front to the community.
CPU travels nationally to conferences, protests and rallies to speak about our experiences in Camden NJ and also to continue in our efforts to establish that the dismantling of public education is not acceptable.
What We Do
May 14, 2014, hundreds of Camden students rallied on the front steps of the administration building in protest of deep staff cuts at the struggling city school district and the superintendent announced plans to lay off 272 staff members including 206 teachers . The walkout started at Camden High School around noon. Students left school early and traveled by foot two miles to the administration building in downtown Camden.
Students held signs and chanted as they made their way to North Front Street, where they shouted for Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard to come out and address their concerns. The crowd — which included band members playing music — spanned the length of Haddon Avenue at times.
Parents and community activists were helping students through traffic as they walked near Cooper University Hospital, but made it clear this was a student-motivated rally.
"The students of Camden public schools are tired of being in the middle of this war," Dickerson said. "They feel like all the teachers they love are being fired and they are not being included in the process." It was at that moment Camden Parent & Student Union was born. Camden's children lifted their voices and we vowed to be the protectors and amplifiers of those voices for them and their families.