(Memphis) Hundreds of parents, politicians, community members and students are outraged. More than a dozen schools could be shut down by the end of the year.
Thursday night, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson held a public meeting to discuss the proposed closings and listen to concerns.
So many people went riled up, they packed the auditorium spilling into the hallways.
“I was sad and disappointed to hear that my school is on the list to close,” said Daniel Peoples, student body president of Gordon Elementary. “We need to keep our school open.”
The 9-year-old is fuming. His school is one of 13 on the chopping block.
Hopson’s plan is to shut down 13 schools mostly in North and South Memphis. He said the schools chosen have the lowest enrollment and worst academic performance.
He said students would get a better education at another school, and it would save the district money.
Hopson’s idea didn’t go over too well at his public meeting.
“Most of the schools you chose to commute to would become over-populated. They would have more than 100 percent of students in those buildings. That is a design for disaster,” said Keith Williams, president of the Memphis Education Association.
Signs were waved and shouts were heard throughout the meeting. Parents even protested outside before it started.
“We don’t want them to think that we are just sitting and not being concerned about what goes on in our neighborhood,” said one parent.
Until the plan is set in stone, folks at the meeting said they will continue to fight to save their schools.
“This is a good school. They should not close any other schools on our neighborhoods,” said Peoples.
Hopson is expected to present his final plan to the board in February. He plans to hold more public meetings before then.
He said the schools can present a plan on how they will improve academically. If he and the board likes it, the school has a shot to stay open.
Schools on the list to close: