Parents 'silenced' with index cards during school closure - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Parents 'silenced' with index cards during school closure meetings

Only district leaders spoke publicly on the proposed closure of Riverview Elementary School Thursday. Only district leaders spoke publicly on the proposed closure of Riverview Elementary School Thursday.
Some parents say they have been silenced by the Shelby County School District during community meetings concerning school closures. Some parents say they have been silenced by the Shelby County School District during community meetings concerning school closures.
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(WMC-TV) - Some parents say they have been silenced by the Shelby County School District during community meetings concerning school closures.

Only district leaders spoke publicly on the proposed closure of Riverview Elementary School Thursday.

"We came in and they treated us like we're in elementary school. They gave us index cards and told us to pass up questions. We should be able to be heard as a people," said parent Theopolis.

Parents were told a comprehensive plan of their own might help.

"If they were really concerned about us coming up with a plan they would try to help us or furnish somebody that would help us," said Riverview Parent Deirdre Latham.

Gordon Elementary's meeting did not stray far from Riverview's structure. Both meetings came two days after Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said meeting formats were tweaked.

"Then we also want to leave some time for open mic comments," said Hopson.

The schools may be under-enrolled, but parents believe transferring children makes no sense because of the dedicated teachers and improving academics.

Despite the lack of public comments during the meeting, board member Shante Avant stayed after to answer questions. She said she prefers index cards over an open microphone because it is more manageable, especially when dealing with such an emotional issue.

See the below list for the remainder of the closure meetings. All meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.

  • February 3: Graves Elementary & Northside High School
  • February 4: Westhaven Elementary
  • February 6: Lanier Middle
  • February 10: Riverview Middle

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