Parents protest Wake County school reassignment
Posted October 12, 2015 6:02 p.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2015 9:48 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Parents who are upset about plans to move students to a new elementary school shared their concerns Monday night.
Prior to a public session scheduled for 7 p.m., parents and students rallied in front of Leesville Road High School in protest of new school assignments. Chanting “we are Leesville, we are pride,” while entering the building, the group made it clear that they would not go quietly.
The proposed reassignments are part of the Wake County Public School System’s student enrollment plan to ease overcrowding. The second draft of the plan, which was revealed last week, would move children from Leesville Elementary School to the new Pleasant Grove Elementary School.
The Wake County school board argues that the change will prevent overcrowding in the ever-growing district. Parents opposed to the changes said that the new school is too far of a commute and that the distance will prevent parent involvement.
Dozens of parents spoke at Monday night’s meeting about why they do not want their children transferred out of Leesville Elementary.
Lauren Trustman-Noise has two children in Leesville Elementary and said that trying to explain the changes to her young children is difficult.
“I explain to them if these folks move, sure it will be your friends that will be gone, but you will also have parents who will not be in the classroom helping in the same way that they have been,” Trustman-Noise said.
The public session with Wake County student assignment staff was an opportunity to ask questions. It was one of three sessions scheduled before the third draft of the district’s school assignment proposal is approved on Oct. 20.
“We’re hoping that parents can pose some good questions and good responses to the second plan that will make the school board rethink what they’ve chosen to do in the second plan and go back to how the school is aligned originally,” said Trustman-Noise
Matt Dees with the Wake County Public School System said that the staff is prepared to make recommendations based off feedback received from parents but he can’t promise that everyone will be pleased with the final decision.
“We have a lot of things we have to balance when we open a new school,” Dees said. “First and foremost, we have to fill the new school. There’s no point in spending all the money to build a new school if you’re not going to fill it with students.”
Answers from school leaders at Monday night’s meeting were met with a lot of boos and even more push back from the group.