Local News

Family Drops Lawsuit to Reunite High School Sisters

Posted May 28, 2007 11:50 p.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2007 8:11 a.m. EDT

— The Bailey family has had quite a year. Their daughters, Amber and Brittany, are both in high school, but they aren’t allowed to attend the same Wake County school.

The Baileys' juggling act includes trying to figure out how to see two different end-of-year choral concerts at the same time.

“It’s the wrong thing to do to any family,” Rhonda Bailey said.

Last August, the family sued to get the teens back together. Nine months later, they said the legal fight is no longer worth the energy it is taking, and they have dropped the suit.

“A lot of good came out if it even if it’s not necessarily what we wanted in the first place,” Brittany said.

Most of the decision to drop the suit came down to what Brittany wanted. After establishing herself at the new Holly Springs High School, Brittany no longer wants to go back to Middle Creek High, where her sister goes.

The Baileys were caught in the middle of a wave of change.

When the new Holly Springs High School opened, the county school board said it had to make assignments there mandatory to relieve overcrowding and fill the space. Siblings didn’t get a pass.

“We just have to look at the school system as a whole and do what’s best for the system,” board member Horace Tart said of the decision.

With the decision to tear up the court papers behind then now, the Baileys said they have no regrets and they feel their fight sent a message.

”All I can say is that when you’re a parent , you’ve got to do what you think is right for your children. Anything less is not doing your job as a parent,” David Bailey said.

The Baileys may claim one victory as they may get state law changed.

A bill in the state House of Representatives would allow school boards to appoint a separate committee to hear appeals over school assignments. The Baileys said they feel that would lift a burden off board members in large districts like Wake and give parents a bigger voice.