Birmingham school plan raises concerns about student safety - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham school plan raises concerns about student safety

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Many Birmingham parents are asking school leaders to reconsider a consolidation plan. It would close schools and move some 7th and 8th graders into high school. They fear their young children will be easy targets for bullying.

The state appointed chief financial officer told a room full of parents and students Tuesday night that ideally, two high schools should be closed. But he said high schools have already undergone or going through renovations now. The next solution to cutting eight million dollars was to move younger students into high schools.

Parents aren't liking the idea.

Students get curbside lessons. At Woodlawn High School, it's "say no to drugs and alcohol."

Mother Cherique Smith fears the message will be lost on the twelve and thirteen year olds who could be forced into high school early. Her son is a third grader at Hudson K-8, which could become a K-6 with older students going to high school.

"It's not a good idea. Those are babies. They don't have any business being put with those high school children who are 17, 18. They are grown," she said.

The proposed plan closes Center Street, Daniel Payne, and Putnam Middle Schools. The sixth graders go to elementary schools. The seventh and eighth graders move to Carver and Woodlawn High Schools. 

Seventh grader Devante Overstret could be at Carver next fall. He and other Daniel Payne students rallied outside the board of education Tuesday.

"I'm out here because I don't want to be mixed with those big kids," he said. "I don't want to be bullied."

School leaders understand.

"It gave the impression we'd dump seventh and eighth graders into high school. That would be a mistake. I wouldn't agree to that," said Dr. Ed Richardson, state appointed CFO, Tuesday night.

The younger students will have separate classrooms, entrances and staff. At Carver, it will be by floor. Woodlawn is working on a new addition. It will leave a separate building empty for the seventh and eighth graders.

"The separation could really be achieved and some of the benefits of a shared campus but also the safety and security knowing there is that natural separation there," said Dr. Craig Witherspoon, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. 

But some parents and PTA presidents fail to see the benefits, especially when students can end up on the same bus.

"That's unacceptable to parents because our babies do not need to be in the those schools with the high school kids," said Donna Thomas, president of the Birmingham Council PTA.

Here's a complete breakdown of the plan: Students from Center Street Middle School would go to Arrington Middle School and Carver High School. Sixth graders from Daniel Payne Middle School would go to South Hampton Elementary and seventh and eighth graders would head to Carver. Younger Putnam Middle School students head to Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School and older ones go to Woodlawn High School.

For the elementary schools, Norwood closes and students go to Phillips Academy. Hemphill shuts down and students transfer to Jackson and West End Academy. North Roebuck relocates to the Martha Gaskins Middle School building. Martha Gaskins students go to Smith and Ossie Ware.

Avondale, Barrett, Hayes K-8, Hudson K-8, Inglenook K-8, Oliver and South Hampton become K-6 schools.

The new Oxmoor K-8 will open as K-5.

Kennedy Alternative School will move to the Daniel Payne building.

There will be two public hearings on the plan. The first is Monday at Carver High School from 6 pm to 8 pm. The second is at Huffman High School on Tuesday from 6 pm to 8 pm.

 

  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Small Treasurers coming to Birmingham Museum of Art

    Small Treasurers coming to Birmingham Museum of Art

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:29:42 GMT
    Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries is coming to the Birmingham Museum of Art early next year. The exhibition, from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015, features small 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. During the period, artists demonstrated precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, their technical skills were highly revered, and these paintings had an impact on the work of many artists.The exhibition brings toget...More >>
    Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries is coming to the Birmingham Museum of Art early next year. The exhibition, from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015, features small 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. During the period, artists demonstrated precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, their technical skills were highly revered, and these paintings had an impact on the work of many artists.The exhibition brings toget...More >>
  • Birmingham City School leaders respond to allegations of unqualified administrators

    Birmingham City School leaders respond to allegations of unqualified administrators

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:03:34 GMT
    Birmingham City School leaders are responding to concerns Tuesday involving allegations that two administrators did not hold proper certification for the jobs.More >>
    Birmingham City School leaders are responding to concerns Tuesday involving allegations that two administrators did not hold proper certification for the jobs.More >>
  • Concerns raised over qualifications of Birmingham City Schools Employees

    Concerns raised over qualifications of Birmingham City Schools Employees

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:49:04 GMT
    Some community and educational leaders are raising concerns Tuesday regarding the qualifications of administrators in the Birmingham City Schools System.More >>
    Some community and educational leaders are raising concerns Tuesday regarding the qualifications of administrators in the Birmingham City Schools System.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Gadsden police officers receive Life Saver Award

    Gadsden police officers receive Life Saver Award

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:09:23 GMT
    After 35 years on the job, August 25 could have been a Gadsden man's last shift for AT&T if it weren't for some Gadsden police officers. Danny Day collapsed while retrieving cable. His hard hat came off as he fell to the ground, and Day hit his head and began to bleed profusely. Two police officers, Josh Russell and Jason Coffman, were on patrol on Forrest Avenue. They drove past Day at the right time. "It happened so quickly, as we were approaching, I just saw a hard hat fall."More >>
    After 35 years on the job, August 25 could have been a Gadsden man's last shift for AT&T if it weren't for some Gadsden police officers. Danny Day collapsed while retrieving cable. His hard hat came off as he fell to the ground, and Day hit his head and began to bleed profusely. Two police officers, Josh Russell and Jason Coffman, were on patrol on Forrest Avenue. They drove past Day at the right time. "It happened so quickly, as we were approaching, I just saw a hard hat fall."More >>
  • Town Hall meeting on police and minority relations

    Town Hall meeting on police and minority relations

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:35:18 GMT
    In light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri community and police leaders will be participating in a town hall meeting.A number of people will be there from law enforcement to UAB professors. They will be discussing police and minority relations.More >>
    In light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri community and police leaders will be participating in a town hall meeting.A number of people will be there from law enforcement to UAB professors. They will be discussing police and minority relations.More >>
  • Anniston appoints new school board member; discusses school consolidation

    Anniston appoints new school board member; discusses school consolidation

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-09-16 01:13:45 GMT
    The Anniston City Council named a former mayor of Weaver as the city's newest board of education member. Ed Kimbrough will replace Donna Ross, who submitted a letter of resignation two weeks ago as she and her family move out of state. Kimbrough was one of three candidates interviewed by the council for the position, along with former Macon County board of education member Ernest Washington, and Andrew Hatley, who previously served on both the Anniston City Council and Board of Education.More >>
    The Anniston City Council named a former mayor of Weaver as the city's newest board of education member. Ed Kimbrough will replace Donna Ross, who submitted a letter of resignation two weeks ago as she and her family move out of state. Kimbrough was one of three candidates interviewed by the council for the position, along with former Macon County board of education member Ernest Washington, and Andrew Hatley, who previously served on both the Anniston City Council and Board of Education.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...