UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- Nearly 6,000 local students could end up in new schools under a plan unveiled Tuesday night in Union County.
So many parents showed up for the meeting, some couldn’t even get through the doors. They all showed up to hear about the new plans, and many of them weren’t happy.
“Our kids have been together since kindergarten. We all moved to this area to go to these schools. If we wanted to move to those schools, we would’ve moved to that district,” Cindy DePaola said.
More than 500 people with similar opinions crammed into the Walter Bicket Education Centre. With the auditorium at capacity, the fire marshal forced hundreds more to wait outside of the building as members of the Union County School Board presented the proposed reassignment maps on a projector.
Parents like James Stitts examined the lines on their phones while the committee talked about the changes.
“They drew the line right about 100 yards from my house, so we lost out,” he said.
Stitts’ family plans to take drastic measures if this plan is approved.
“We had already discussed – we wanted to see where the redistricting would occur and now we’re relocating. Because of this,” he said. “Now we’re moving back to the Cuthbertson area.
Many parents walked out of the presentation.
Union County’s 53 schools have 41,147 students. It’s a number the district expects to continue rising over the next four years. Many schools are already overcrowded.
“They got to do something. You can’t have crowding where kids are sitting on the floor. We aren’t happy with it but what are you going to do?” a Cuthbertson Middle School parent said.
Other parents say the district isn’t exploring enough options. School board member Kevin Stewart said other options are being considered, but nearly all of them would require some students to move schools.
The parents did not get a chance to voice any of those opinions. They will have a chance to do so at another meeting on Feb. 4.
For a closer look at the redistricting plan, click here.