Emotional parents speak up at final Abilene ISD school boundary meeting
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 08:05:06 AM CST
Thursday evening was the fourth and final public hearing to address questions about possible boundary changes for the Abilene Independent School District.
Controversy over the proposed changes has escalated in the past weeks.
The final meeting was held at Bassetti Elementary.
Parents of children who could be uprooted from their schools were passionate at the hearing.
Abilene ISD Superintendent Heath Burns tried to field many difficult questions.
"I can promise you we're going to listen and try to do what's best for your child," Burns said.
One mother said the change is not fair in many ways, but especially for the kids.
"Change is inevitable, we know that, we don't always like it...but you're changing in some ways that students are not ready for. That these kids are not mentally or physically or emotionally prepared for," Angie Cannon said.
The proposed changes would shift boundaries to even out the school's populations. About 500 students would be affected. About 170 students would be moved from Bassetti to Reagan Elementary, 129 would be moved from Bassetti to Dyess, 163 would be moved from Ward to Bassetti, and 77 would move from Jackson to Ward.
Parents say it's not right to take kids away from the teachers and students they've grown up with.
"You're fixing to turn my son completely around from one extreme to the other, which is very confusing for him. His comment was 'I wanna go up there and give them a piece of my mind,'" Cannon said.
Administrators said the meetings have been helping. The current plan will most likely be altered to address parent's comments.
"It's our goal to try to help them understand those concerns and answer them and really make a transition that is not easy, easier for everyone," AISD spokesman Phil Ashby said.
Until that plan is finalized, parents are continuing to make a case against the proposed changes.
"Let's keep our kids comfortable and safe where they are," Cannon said.
The AISD Board of Trustees is scheduled to review the boundary updates at a Feb. 11 meeting.
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