NAACP president talks to Biloxi leaders about closing Nichols Elem. - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

NAACP president talks to Biloxi leaders about closing Nichols Elem.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - National NAACP President Benjamin Jealous was in Biloxi Monday to meet with leaders about the oil crisis. But while he was here, he addressed another issue he feels deserves national attention - the closing of Nichols Elementary School.

Nichols is one of three schools Biloxi city leaders have decided to close because of budget constraints.

Jealous said the national NAACP office was notified that the predominantly black school was slated to close, and that was one reason he wanted to visit Biloxi. So when he met with city leaders, he asked why the star school had to be closed.

"This is a great school. It's a real treasure for the state, it's a treasure for the country, and that needs to be respected," Jealous said. "If kids have a great school, you don't shut it down.You find a way to keep it open. That's what we do in this country and that's what needs to be done here."

Mayor A.J. Holloway explained to Jealous that the city was forced to close Nichols as part of budget cuts. Holloway said it made sense to choose Nichols because enrollment numbers had dropped so much since Katrina.

Jealous suggested the city try to draw new school boundaries to allow more students to use the school.

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