MEMPHIS, Tenn.– There was a full house for Monday night’s Memphis-Shelby County Schools community meeting to discuss the fate of four schools.
The meeting comes as the deadline approaches to make a decision regarding the controversial “3G” bill involving three schools in Germantown.
The district said the meeting was all about informing families and dozens of parents and students showed up to let their voices be heard.
There was only standing room at the Memphis-Shelby County community meeting in Cordova to discuss options moving forward with students and staff at Germantown Elementary, Middle and High schools along with Lucy Elementary in Millington.
The conversation comes after Tennesee lawmakers based a new bill that prohibits Memphis-Shelby County Schools from operating schools within the boundaries of another district starting July 1 of next year unless there is a written agreement.
The law could change things for students like 8-year-old Frances Schnell, a 3rd grader at Germantown Elementary who’s zoned for a different school.
“I like my friends I like my teachers and I feel like I’m a lot smarter there,” Schnell said.
Her father Gabriel who is a Germantown High teacher was among the concerned parents in the crowd.
“I feel like the stability of our children should be our number one concern.. and her being stolen away from her friends and awesome teachers that’s devastating,” he said.
The district discussed options for the 4,000 students impacted. They announced its exploring options to maintain the buildings, seek funding for new schools, and potentially bus students to other MSCS campuses.
“Our parents have said they desire and deserve to keep our athletic teams together, our staff together, and keep our students together,” said MSCS spokesperson Dr. Cathryn Stout.
They are options Germantown High junior Isabelle Nieves and 9th grader Evan Miller hope won’t ruin their advanced diploma program.
“I’m not going to be able to finish because of what’s happening and my credits won’t transfer next year,” Nieves said.
“I’m just worried that this entire time I spent working up to this point will have been wasted,” Miller said.
With no shortage of school pride in the building, students let it be known with their voices and signs that they want “to save the G”
“So saving that it doesn’t mean save the building, just save the three schools, it means save the people,” said Germantown High senior Maya Mitchell.
“We’re all together in this. You save one person, you save everybody else,” said senior Daijah Beasley.
If no agreement is reached, MSCS will be required to transfer ownership of the buildings. Some believe the schools would be torn down and students would be sent elsewhere.
We did reach out to Germantown Schools but have yet to hear back.