Community reacts to redistricting vote

Community reacts to redistricting vote

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - More than 700 students will be going to new schools next school year, and not everyone is happy about it.

The New Hanover County School Board voted 5-1 Tuesday night to approve Version 2 of its redistricting proposal, which will send 315 students from Laney to New Hanover High School to help with overcrowding at Laney.

Thirty-two students will move from Ashley to New Hanover, 58 from New Hanover to Ashley, 180 from Ashley to Hoggard, 16 from New Hanover to Laney and 89 from New Hanover to Hoggard.

Judy Justice was the lone board member to vote against the plan. She said she wants to see more economic integration within the schools.

Justice also said she would move more higher income students to New Hanover, and lower income students out of New Hanover to other schools.

Justice added she wants to see the percentage of students on free and reduced lunch to be less than 40 percent at all schools, which this plan doesn’t address.

“No matter what you do, it’s going to be traumatic," she said. “You can just be brave and do what you have to do for the kids to make the schools the best they can be for all of the kids.”

Janice Dickerson and her family used to live in the New Hanover district, but she wanted her kids to go to Laney so they moved to the Laney district. Part of that district, though, is being moved to New Hanover next year.

Dickerson said she doesn’t think redistricting creates enough changes to “disrupt” almost 700 students. Dickerson’s daughter is a freshman at Laney and she said her daughter and others have been through enough changes this year.

“When you’re starting high school, you’re a teenage girl," Dickerson said. “There’s all sorts of insecurities.

“You go somewhere. You’ve been there for several months. Once the disruption of (Hurricane Florence) is done, it has been a rough transition. She is finally kind of hitting her stride there and the thought of her having to start all over again, completely not knowing teachers, possibly not knowing any students, not knowing any of the programs and the classes, it’s really more than she needs.”

Dickerson said she’d rather see a new high school built than have students moved around.

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