Courtesy Mike Nyden
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Roswell Organizing Committee---Preserving the Community
Mike Nyden – ROCNorthFulton@gmail.com – (770) 642-6133
Claire Bartlett – firstname.lastname@example.org – (404) 384-3256
The Fulton County School Board’s redistricting plan robs students of their time and their heritage
“The plan to add the eighth general high school in North Fulton shows no compassion or common sense. This plan will move 3,500 children in order to fill a new school with 1,600 students. It crosses city lines, causes traffic jams, and diminishes a community’s identity,” said Mike Nyden, head of “The Roswell Organizing Committee.”
The Fulton County School Board is engaged in a controversial process to realign all the schools’ boundaries, based primarily on proximity, they say. They have submitted three such plans. But citizens groups see it differently. Spokeswoman Claire Bartlett said, “There’s no logic in their proposed maps. We could live three blocks from Roswell High, but next year our kids may have to travel forty minutes to a new educational palace---even though ‘proximity’ is supposed to be the main consideration for redistricting. This raises huge concerns for child safety.”
The problem is the same throughout the state. School Boards are not conceived to be an inherent part of a city. School districts are without boundaries within a county. In North Fulton there are five cities—Sandy Springs, Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek. But now there will be eight high schools, seemingly scattered randomly. For example, a student might live in Johns Creek and go to Centennial High School (in Roswell) with kids from Alpharetta. But friends across the street may go to Chattahoochee High School (in Johns Creek).
This will be the largest redistricting venture in North Fulton County history. It started a few years ago when the county bought a property near its northern border of Forsyth County, for millions of dollars. It was decided to build a state-of-the-art high school there to alleviate the crowding of existing schools.
The new school is being referred to as “Bethany Bend High School,” on a road by that name near the Forsyth County line in the city of Milton. Nyden said, “No roads lead to Bethany Bend. And the intersection---at Cogburn Road---will be a parking lot to nowhere.”
The process is supposed to continue, with one more meeting requesting citizen input. But there seems to be little communication with the School Board and any of the North Fulton City Councils. Nyden adds that this is a prime example of taxation without representation and a terrible manifestation of the unintended consequences of when one political body works independently from another.
In most of the USA, a city’s high school is the primary source of identity and community pride. Is that ceasing to exist here in Georgia?
“Bethany Bend will suck the guts and soul out of Roswell, Alpharetta, and Milton,” said Nyden.
“Why doesn’t the School Board try listening? Why aren’t the city councils standing up for their communities? And doesn’t the school board care about disrupting kids’ lives by making them prisoners in cars and buses for hours each day?”
About The Roswell Organizing Committee---Preserving the Community:
The Roswell Organizing Committee is a motivated group of citizens in North Fulton County dedicated to having Concern for Children and the Community integrated into any school redistricting process. For more information, contact Mike Nyden or visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/roswellredistricting.