New O.D. Wyatt Principal Is Trying To Change How Students See Their School | KERA News

New O.D. Wyatt Principal Is Trying To Change How Students See Their School

Apr 4, 2017

O.D. Wyatt – and the Fort Worth neighborhood around it – looks a lot different now than when the school opened in 1968.

Back then, the student population was mostly white. Today, it’s more than 50 percent Hispanic, and there’s a growing refugee population. Academically, the school has struggled. A new principal is trying to change students’ perceptions of Wyatt.

Ninth grader Quinten Hutchinson has heard all the things people say about his school – O.D. Wyatt.

“Them kids up there is bad and loud,” they say.

He says that’s not true.

“I think it’s because the reputation that they’ve had for so long and ’cause the school is kind of old and the stuff that used to happen,” he says. “So when people hear [O.D. Wyatt], I think they just automatically just think of that.”

The older kids at O.D. Wyatt talk about how this year is different, Quinten says.

Part of the reason? The new principal, Mario Layne. “When Mr. Layne came, he changed stuff,” Quinten says. “You can’t be on phones no more, ’cause last year you could be on phones in the classroom. And we got to wear IDs — we got to keep them on. So yeah, it’s changed, but it’s changed in a good way.”

Read the full story on O.D. Wyatt and explore our entire American Graduate series, "Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools."