(Hernando, MS) The announcement was simple and came without explanation or elaboration.
”The plan for changing the district lines has been cancelled. Completely," said DeSoto School Spokesperson John Caldwell.
The controversy started a couple of weeks ago when district leaders announced plans to re-draw school boundaries.
”We talked to the Board of Education, we sent letters and information to them just telling them they’re not giving us enough information or time to do anything,” said Sonya Fought of Southaven.
Angry parents told us they moved to certain neighborhoods for certain schools and didn’t like the proposed switch.
”I don’t think it’s right. They’re making us change schools. I just moved in my house one year ago,” said Jamie Litzner of Southaven.
Some even talked of moving to get the schools they wanted.
Why the proposed change in the first place?
In a word, overcrowding.
District leaders believed some minor shifting around would prevent overcrowding at Southaven and DeSoto Central which have the worst problems.
The plan would only have affected 1500 of the district’s nearly 33,000 students.
Wednesday, the board did a sudden about-face, saying principals would come up with ways to deal with their individual situations.
”We still have crowded schools, but we have the ability to make it work without changing lines” said Caldwell.
School leaders said they changed their mind based on “parent input” but wouldn’t elaborate on the change in plans.
Parents stopped short of calling it a victory, but expressed a strong belief that students should remain in schools in the town where they live.
”You can re-arrange within the Southaven city limits. I’m sure they’re another way that they can make this work without sending ‘em to school in another city” said Fought.