The Monroe County School Board voted Tuesday night to table the middle school consolidation plan.
The move would place all 6th grade students at William Hubbard Middle School. 7th and 8th graders would relocate to Banks Stephens Middle School.
Most parents are on board with the plan to merge the middle schools, but parents of special needs students fear their children will lose out if the consolidation happens.
The school system provides inclusion classes at BSMS for children with special needs. This merger complicates this program. If all sixth graders are moved to WBMS, then students who have special needs would have to be bused over to WBMS for their inclusion classes.
"When you take them to another school, and drop them off to have their inclusion classes, they're going to have meltdowns. It can cause them seizures, medical issues, there's all kinds of things that can happen," says concerned parent Brenda Gottschaok.
The other option is to separate them from their peers, and keep 6th grade students with special needs at BSMS.
"It's very hard for them to make friends, and when they make a couple of friends, if these 6th graders this year move to this other school they'll lose their friends. Even the couple they had in their connection classes," says parent Steve Harbin.
Both Gottschaok and Harbin spoke out about their concerns at tonight's board meeting. They say that inclusion classes were essential in their children's lives.
Board members also raised additional concerns from other parents about the lack of details surrounding this proposal. Board Member, Tammy Fletcher, mentioned several parents have come to her asking to see a breakdown of what's going to be offered in each building.
After hearing these concerns, the board voted to table this decision. It will be further discussed at the next board meeting on Tuesday, January 24th at 7pm.
The school board went into a closed session after the meeting. 41 NBC reached out to Superintendent Anthony Pack several times before that, but he declined to comment.