D'Iberville parents speak out against swapping schools

Overcrowding at one D'Iberville school has forced the Harrison County School Board to make a tough decision; that's left a lot of people unhappy. Board members known they're facing a tough crowd, but say they had no other choice.

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - "By flipping the schools, making the elementary school a 6th, 7th and 8th grade with about 600 students in it, that will leave about 10 vacant classrooms at the elementary school. By making the middle school a K through five that should leave about 10 class rooms," Superintendent Henry Arledge explained.

Extensive research and planning may have gone into the swap, but that doesn't change the fact that parents and students aren't happy.

Carl Nehlig, one of the parents who was very vocal about his disapproval, said the change would be unfair to the students.

"These students at the middle school have given up a lot. They have just started to build their identity as young men and young women. They need to social interaction that courtyard gives them," Nehlig said.

8th Grade Student, Gabrielle Cox says the swap would leave her with unpleasant memories surrounding her middle school experience.

"My 8th grade year is supposed to be fun, and that's supposed to be what I remember of middle school. I'm not supposed to remember that I had to move back to my elementary school," Cox said.

"Why should our privileges be taken away to benefit an elementary student when we've already sacrificed so many things," Jacqueline Holmes said.

Some of those sacrifices include being placed in trailers following Katrina, not to mention splitting the campuses. Still school board members say they stand by their decision.

"Overcrowding is always an issue. Traffic congestion, traffic lines going into the schools. Loading and unloading bus areas. All of this I have to take into consideration. We want the people of D'Iberville to come together and support this issue. Let's make it work," Arledge said

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