Holmes Co. high schools merge; parents upset - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Holmes Co. high schools merge; parents upset

HOLMES COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Several parents voiced their opposition Tuesday night at the Holmes County School Board meeting about the merger of three high schools in the district. It was a packed house.

"I don't like it, I'm just going to tell you the truth I don't like it," said Susie Hewitt, who has several grandchildren in the district.

"We just want a clear understanding of what's going on, said Brenda Powell, whose son attends one of the schools. "We are parents; these are our kids and we are being left out of the dark." 

Superintendent Powell Rucker says this merger has been in the works for about 2 years now. He says it's needed in order to improve academics and test scores so students can better compete.

"We are not educating our children. We have to give them the courses that they need," said Rucker. "We have to fix the problem." 

The parents initially voted down a bond issue that would have combined the three high schools.

"Once that was over, he decided that he was going to get the school board to vote to merge the high schools and it went through as a 4-1 vote," said Kahlil Johnson, a former student in the district.

Many parents felt as if they were left out of the loop of planning. One parent says her son brought home a letter one day from school and that's the first she had heard of it.

"We haven't seen a plan, so we want to know what the plan is," said Wardell Turner. "How are you going to bus our children all over the county? How are you going to pay for this? Those are the answers that we want." 

Superintendent Rucker says parents have always been invited to know what is going on in the district.

"We've been communicating and going to schools," explained Rucker. "I went to all the PTAs and the PTAs voted to name the school Holmes County Central high school."

Another concern is transportation.  

"What are the transportation options for my son," said Powell. "Will he go to McLain and get on another bus and then be bused back to Tchula, then bused back to McLain. That's a major concern for parents here."

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