Students at Elkins HS forced to sit on floor during class after desks moved for AP testing

Rosie Nguyen Image
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
FBISD students forced to sit on floor due to desk shortage
Elkins High School students in Fort Bend ISD had no choice but to sit on the floor after their desks were moved for testing purposes.

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Students in several classrooms at Elkins High School were forced to sit on the floor during instruction time Friday after desks were taken to the gymnasium to provide seating for AP testing. The change is scheduled to last until May 18.

Multiple parents told ABC13 they were upset to find out about the situation through their children.

"It just makes me feel like there's been a lack of planning and forethought as to what they were going to do with the AP testing. They knew the testing was coming up, and they should've had a better plan in place," Nadine Laurie Skinner, a frustrated parent who spoke to ABC13 over the phone, said. "As a parent, you don't expect your child to have to sit on the floor during class time."

Pictures sent to ABC13 showed students sitting in a circle on the floor around a classroom. An internal email sent to department heads and administrative staff on Thursday stated, "We have requested additional chairs from FBISD (Fort Bend ISD), but we're told today we will be unable to receive any."

When asked what led up to this situation, a spokesperson with Fort Bend ISD wrote in a statement:

"This year, Elkins High School has 1,069 students out of 2,600 total enrollment taking Advanced Placement exams. The 1,069 represent an increase of 335 students over last year. Due to structured procedures and seating required for AP test taking and the significant increase in students taking the exam this year, the school required extra tables and chairs."

Demetria Robinson, another parent who spoke to ABC13 over the phone, called the situation unacceptable and one that causes concern for student safety.

"It was very infuriating. I think it's very disrespectful to the students. I think it's disrespectful to the parents because we were not informed. It was just a lack of care and concern for the students that they need to sit on the floor without furniture and just pass the time away because there are more important students or other priorities for them," she said.

On Monday, as of 9 a.m., a student told ABC13 they were still sitting on the floor in class. But by lunchtime, the district stated that extra tables and chairs would be brought in, which the student confirmed during the last class period of the day.

"We apologize for any inconvenience our students and staff experienced, however brief. We are proud that so many of our students are achieving this level of academic success," the district's statement read.

For more on this story, follow Rosie Nguyen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.