Parents dismayed over superintendent recommending to close Brookdale

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County School Board members met face to face with parents Thursday night at the latest public hearing regarding school closures. The conversation continued with community members at Brookdale Elementary–a school that may have a greater possibility of closing now than the others.

“You never know what kids go home to or what they’re going through but Brookdale teachers are always here to help without judgement,” said parent Aisha Lundy.

School Board members have a heavy decision to make.

“The superintendent is asking us to consider three options which involves moving the population of one of the schools and spreading them out among the other two,” said School Board President Daryl Morton.

Morton says the recommendation the board received from superintendent Curtis Jones leaned more toward closing the doors to the very school building they met in.

“Taking the Brookdale population and moving it to Riley and then re-purposing Brookdale either as a grade 8.5 program or a gifted program or something like that,” said Morton.

Lundy credits that same school building and its staff with getting her oldest daughter to college.

“She is in her first year at Georgia Gwinnett–all A’s and I am proud. With the help of the Brookdale family she kept going, and they implant in those kids that it’s not about what’s around you. You can be somebody,” Lundy said.

Aside from concern for the recent multi million dollar renovations with tax payer dollars being spent in vein, she and others are worried what closing it will do to the surrounding community.

“It’s a community affair. Our surroundings are going down but, when the kids have the Brookdale family to come to whatever is going on whether they’re hungry or whether they need protection or whatever the case might be, it’s easier for them to communicate with the teachers and the staff to ask for help,” Lundy continued.

After hearing her story along with others, Morton says he wants residents to know the board is listening to their concerns.

“As someone who walked to school every morning, I understand how important a neighborhood school is and I assure the public that this is not a decision that’s being made lightly,” he continued.

If you missed the hearing but you’re interested in getting in on the discussion, the board will host one more public hearing Monday, January 8th at 5:00 PM. The entire community is invited to come out and give their feedback.

There hasn’t been a decision made yet and it won’t come until later this month when the school board meets to vote on the superintendent’s recommendation. That meeting is scheduled for January 18th.

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