Community speaks out on Columbia County school rezoning

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 23, 2008

EVANS, Ga.---People are speaking out one day after the Columbia County school board approves redrawing school boundaries. News 12 has reaction from all sides: parents, students, and those responsible for our young people...the schools.

Sandra Hayes spends her days busy at work cleaning other people's homes while her goddaughter, Brittany, tackles work of her own at Grovetown Middle School.

Education provides options says Sandra, but she says a new Columbia County zoning plan has left them with no options. "No, but there should be, because we're all human beings and we deserve a voice."

Sandra raised two children in Columbia County schools. Now at least 1000 students there will be rezoned. School board members surveyed parents beforehand, but Sandra says that's not good enough.

"If you're gonna do a survey, do a survey. Ask everyone, not just the select people that have children. I did have does matter. I want Brittany to have the absolute best school she can have," said Sandra.

"I know and I realize change is never easy but I think they'll love this school," said Carolyn Fries, principal at Grovetown Middle.

The plan calls for at least 100 new students to walk the halls there. After just 5 years the school's numbers will double to more than 700.

"We have room for students, and other schools were having to use portable classrooms, but we've got room. We're looking forward to them being here," Fries said.

It's a sentiment shared by faculty and students alike, even Brittany. "We don't care if they went to another school. It's like, okay, yeah, you're here...we'll be friends."

Principal Fries says Grovetown Middle will set aside time for parents to come visit the campus and meet the teachers.

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