Local News

Wake School Reassignment Will Affect Hundreds

Posted April 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The Wake County Public School system is seeking to meet diversity goals with a student reassignment plan that will fill some new schools in the district. Such proposed changes can cause rifts within a community, and this one is no exception.

There was emotional conflict at a Monday night meeting on the subject held at Enloe High School. The school board had presented a plan that it hoped will balance the ethnic diversity of year-round schools which now have predominately white student bodies.

At Monday night's meeting, many parents said while they're not against racial balance, they are tired of their children being forced to repeatedly change schools. More than 300 parents urged the board to scrap its proposal, saying they are tired of having their children bused all over Wake County.

Parent Annette Joyner expressed the emotions of many when she said the children are important, too.

The cry against busing crosses racial lines. Parent Diane Williams, who is white, agreed with Joyner, who is African-American.

While the proposal would correct extreme racial imbalances in year-round classrooms, many parents say the plan is simply not fair. Parent Linda Fuller told the board she's concerned about opportunities for her children.

Parent Craig Brookins said the plan doesn't reflect what is found in the community.

Concerned citizen Rev. William Newkirk spoke for several parents when he said the problem is the diversity policy, not the reassignment plan.

The board planned to vote on the reassignment issue at its regular meeting Tuesday night. They could approve all the issues that have come forward in two public hearings, or they could opt to approve only some of them. Only then will parents know if their arguments were heard.