Old courtyard tables replaced following RedEye article

Since this article’s publication on September 4, the concrete tables in the courtyard have been replaced. After Redeye posted the story, Ms. Liz Palmer (J&C) tweeted it to Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens’ official Twitter account, with the hopes that she would be able to facilitate the removal process. “Sometimes bureaucratic delays are solved better through Twitter than email because it’s public,” she said. “I’ve learned this before. For example, on our J&C trip to San Antonio, our flight got cancelled, so we all sat around tweeting, and they sent a new plane.”

Dr. Hargens then referred Manual to the proper JCPS administrators, and the tables were removed on Monday, September 9 by a Bobcat bulldozer. The name of the device caused much confusion among Manual students, “I was in study skills, and Mr. Mayes came over the intercom and told us that we couldn’t use the courtyard because there was a bobcat outside,” said Kayla Soren (10, HSU). “I thought they were talking about an actual wild cat, until my teacher said that it was a bulldozer. It was disappointing.”

Before the new tables were installed on September 11, students were not allowed to eat lunch outside. “It was definitely not preferable to eat indoors,” said said Aemin Kim (11, MST). “I ate in the cafeteria, which was way too crowded, and it was a little awkward because I couldn’t find my friends.”

Student reactions to the new tables were mixed. “The first thing I noticed the moment I walked out into the courtyard was how the bright red color really contrasted with the olden style of the rest of the school,” said Andrew Nguyen Vo (10, HSU). “The stone tables were as old as the school itself. It just felt wrong to replace them.”

Others found that the red tables fulfilled their original goal of revitalizing the courtyard and making it more accessible to all students. “I think the new tables are great. They’re cleaner and a lot more comfortable,” said Lekha Devara (11, MST)

Regardless, PTSA President Pinky Jackson was not only happy that the problem itself was solved, but that students and adults were able to work together to make change happen. “Honestly, it doesn’t really matter why there was a delay to begin with,” she said. “The important thing is that parent volunteers, student reporters, a teacher, and administrators at both Manual and the district were able to communicate with one another to get the job done.”