School Buildings Battle

(Memphis) Nothing gets us more fired up than seeing our kids hurt. When we want what’s best for them, we take a stand.

The people of Germantown with kids in Germantown elementary, middle and high schools stood up for their kids before the Shelby County School Board Monday night.

The City of Germantown intends to form its own municipal school district, and wants to use the school buildings within their city.

The board, however, won’t allow Germantown to have the buildings housing Germantown Elementary, Germantown Middle, or Germantown High schools.

Board members said they need the schools for students who live nearby, but not within Germantown city limits.

In fact, in the middle and high schools, most of the students are not Germantown residents.

Shelby County School Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Germantown students already in school there will be able to stay, and the schools bearing the Germantown name would likely become optional schools.

Most parents don’t view Shelby County Schools as such, they said while it merged with Memphis City Schools and kept the Shelby County name, they still judge it as Memphis City Schools and aren’t impressed with their leadership.

It means Germantown residents living in some cases two doors away from a school’s front door would be bussed to other Germantown City Schools, while students ten miles away in unincorporated Shelby County would continue to be bussed in.

Board Member Davis Pickler, who’s from Germantown, voted against the measure and tried multiple ways and times to stop it.

David Reaves of Bartlett, abstained from voting, saying he agreed with Germantown residents who wanted all of their schools, but he represents an area that benefits from the deal and he couldn’t vote against it.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said while keeping the three schools within the county is his recommendation, he would still talk to Germantown leaders about their wishes, and he’s not opposed to listening.

Board members still refused to write into the resolution they passed that they had the option to discuss giving up those three schools.

Board Member Teresa Jones said she had been told by staff that keeping those schools was necessary and she wasn’t going to go back on that.

Member Billy Orgel voted against giving Germantown the schools and said the city had to take up the issue of what they would do with their residents.

But he had to do what’s right for the students in the Shelby County district.

Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy said this all happened very quickly and they’re trying to figure out what to do next respectfully.

They hope the door will be open to truly receive all eight schools.

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