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Parents emotional over redistricting
Plead case before school board
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Forsyth County News

About 65 parents attended the first of two redistricting meetings held at South Forsyth High School this week.

While there was no formal presentation from the Forsyth County Board of Education, the event allowed parents to question officials and plead their case for or against their homes and neighborhoods being moved to a different school attendance zone.

It was an emotional night for parents, but they appeared understanding of the difficult task of adjusting the boundaries.

Only one parent, Dustin Rabrocki, spoke in favor of the proposed changes that address crowding at Midway and other elementary schools.

“I’m showing support and the community is showing support ,” he said of the proposal to send both Hanover Place and Point subdivisions to the same school.

“I think you’ve done a great job of lowering the overcapacity on Midway as well as balancing out the other schools that were under capacity ... while not overburdening them with our movement.”

The other eight presentations from parents to the board for reconsideration, including Jane McLain and Joe Souder of Shiloh Farms subdivision.

Souder, who’s against the move, and McLain offered suggestions to reduce crowding, such as moving the Georgia Pre-K students to a different school.

“Obviously as parents, there’s emotional attachment to these things,” Souder said. “We tried to take that out of the equation and we tried to think logically as you guys have and would, and have come up with some solutions and ideas that we think would be helpful.”

Board Chairwoman Darla Light said she was happy to see so many parents there.

“Whether you’re mad at us or not, at least you’re concerned and you care enough to be here, and I do appreciate that,” she said, noting her own children have been through the redistricting process.

Board member Ann Crow said her niece and nephew were among the students who have, in years past, been redistricted three times.

“We’re just growing so fast,” she said. “There may be a possibility that some that are moved will have to be moved back, or move to the new school. We are trying to do as much as we can. The Johns Creek area is getting ready to be flooded.”

Multiple moves was a real fear for Adam Maroney, who spoke on behalf of only his own family, not the Shepherds Pond subdivision. Like many parents, Maroney is fearful his children will be moved in 2014 and again in 2016, when a new elementary school is slated to open in south Forsyth.

“I request that the board not make short-sighted decisions in moving families and communities to one school,” he said. “I ask that if you touch our community, you touch our community one time and not again.

“Whether you leave us at Midway [or] redistrict us to Shiloh Point is really your decision, but touch my family one time and then leave them alone.”

Shawn Minard, who had the largest support group in attendance, spoke for more than 100 homes from seven different neighborhoods.

“If our collective argument and case is not strong enough, then what would it take to have our communities and students remain at Daves Creek?” he asked of the board.

While Maroney is unsure where his family’s future lies, he said he was happy the school system provided online feedback options and the chance to speak to the board in person.

“I believe that parents have had the opportunity to have input,” he said. “I believe [my voice] was heard. Redistricting is very difficult, it’s very emotional for everybody. And so they’re absolutely right, there will be people that are unhappy.”