Leaders said the idea was to symbolically walk into school buildings to "claim the campuses as an integral part of their communities."
The School Reform Commission decided last month to turn over Wister to Mastery Charter in a surprise vote after Superintendent William Hite had withdrawn his original recommendation to do so. Hite said achievement results showed that students at Wister were making academic progress and the school no longer warranted such "drastic" intervention.
But SRC member Sylvia Simms, saying she was acting on behalf of parents, introduced a resolution at the meeting that garnered enough votes to pass.
Parents and grandparents at the event expressed concerns that an important community institution will be lost and the charter takeovers amount to using their children as pawns in a high-stakes game.
"I feel like they're in it for the money," said Pat Poplar, who has a granddaughter at the Germantown school. She noted that her 24-year-old daughter had also attended the school, a neighborhood fixture since the 1950s.