UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- Families upset over a decision to redistrict thousands of Union County Public Schools students are in fight-back mode, saying the vote was unexpected, unfair and unprofessional.

People are already demanding resignations, talking about lawsuits and trying to get lawmakers to overturn it.

Parent Bruce Cunningham attended Tuesday night's school board meeting. He says the vote came up unexpectedly and thought the public had more time to try to change the board's mind.

Officials say redistricting was an option the school board considered to deal with current overcrowding, growth and to take advantage of open seats in some schools.

The school board previously rejected an offer from Union County to buy $3 million-worth of mobile classrooms to ease overcrowding.

You could tell they wanted to ram it through, Cunningham said.

The vote made some livid. Police had to escort some people out.

Board member Marce Savage walked out before the vote, saying she was completely disgusted by the board's action.

Cunningham came home and told his daughter GiGi, who was supposed to go to Cuthbertson Middle School next year, that she now has to go to Sun Valley Middle School. GiGi is in fifth grade and has Down s syndrome.

It breaks my heart, he said. GiGi is a very sweet girl. We've spent six years working very closely with her school, and we've seen such great improvement for her education. The whole school knows her and that's going to be lost, so it crushes my heart to see what it's going to do to her.

Redistricting will affect almost all Union County Schools and about 6,000 students, either by going to a new school or having to provide their own transportation to remain at existing schools under grandfathering rules.

GiGi's mother Stacey says redistricting will fracture neighborhoods and already has some families considering private or charter schools.

The reason we moved here was to be close to our school, she said. Now we're asking this group of kids to go where they have no peer support, no network of friends.

Redistricting impacts Tony Sturdivant's daughter. He hopes it doesn't affect her grades.

The quality of education over at Cuthbertson was definitely something we were happy with, Sturdivant said.

None of the school board members NBC Charlotte contacted who voted for redistricting responded to our calls and emails at the time of this writing.

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