Forsyth County approves school redistricting plan

- A controversial school redistricting plan has been approved in Forsyth County much to the disappointment of many parents and students.

Some claimed the plan, which was proposed to ease overcrowding and populate a new high school, was drafted without enough public input by a committee behind closed doors. Despite concerns, the board approved the redistricting plan by a vote of four to one.

The move sent South Forsyth High School Sophomore Ella Mehok out of the meeting room in tears.

“I think they are not taking that this is our life, our future into consideration,” said Mehok.

Ella is among hundreds of students slated to transfer between South Forsyth, Lambert and West Forsyth High Schools to ease overcrowding and populate the new, yet unopened, Denmark High School in the next school year.

The board earlier heard from some who contend the redistricting plan, especially for incoming juniors, could tear into their children’s academic future.

“So, I just want you to consider case by case basis, individual circumstances,” said concerned parent Teresa Weiner.

Other critics said it goes much deeper, contending the committee which drafted the plan violated open records laws.

“Certain meeting minutes were not kept and the document retention policy is suspect. These are issues we want to get to the bottom of,” said Chris Reilly.

Reilly and other concerned parents filed a lawsuit to halt the redistricting plan.

A district spokeswoman said the committee, made of staff members reporting to the board, following all legal guidelines.

“All protocol was followed. We Communicated it to the public early on in August that the staff who are the experts would come up with the draft,” said District Spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo.

With no court action to halt them, the board approved the redistricting plan with only Chairwoman Kristin Morissey casting the nay vote.

“I know we need to meet numbers, but I think sometimes common sense takes place,” she told the crowd.

After the board’s controversial approval of the redistricting plan, a tearful Ella Mehok promised to find a way to stay at her high school.

“I have to work extra hard to try to stay at my current school because all I’m thinking about is college. So, if I have to take extra classes next semester if I have to move,” said

Others promised to keep up the legal fight.

“We want to make sure it’s a completely honest and fair and transparent process. We’ll get our day in court,” said Chris Reilly

The district spokesperson said she could not comment on pending litigation, but reiterated the board followed legal protocol in approving the redistricting plan.

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