Parents, officials face tough decisions

Published 9:53pm Saturday, March 26, 2011

As many parents fight for Byrd Elementary School to remain open, some parents have considered the possibility of sending their children to private schools in the near future.

Dorothy Reeves, president of the Byrd Parent Teacher Organization, said many parents are now skeptical about the Selma City School system in general.

“Believe me, if parents could send their kids to private schools they would,” Reeves said. “Many feel like the school system will do what it wants to regardless of the actions made. A lot of the parents are anxious about the school board’s decision about Byrd but overall, we just want better public schools.”

Reeves moved with her four children from Connecticut to Selma in 2002. All of her children have attended the school and she doesn’t understand the logic behind closing the institution.

“Give me a good reason why we should close Byrd,” Reeves asked. “If we’re going to close the school, make other schools big enough to house all of the children. What will happen when the sixth graders can’t go to School of Discovery anymore? There will be a surplus of about 30-40 kids in one classroom and that’s not good.”

Gary Lamar Crum, board member for Ellwood Christian Academy, said he projects a slight increase in enrollment whether Byrd closes or remains open. He expects an influx of about 75 to 100 new students in the upcoming academic school year.

“I think we’re off to a good start and we’ve been well received by the community,” Crum said. “We’re a close-knit and nurturing family here and I believe we complement what the public schools do.

“We have individuals here with a myriad of experiences,” Crum continued. “We have new certified as well as retired teachers. Our smaller classroom size also makes a difference. There’s room for all of us.”

Reeves hopes the school board keeps Byrd open.

“I think we can find a way to keep Byrd in the equation,” Reeves said. “We can change the school system from the inside-out. These students are children, not grownups and we have to think about them. We must save these public schools.”

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