NAACP president challenges Bibb BOE discussion on adding grade levels to elementary schools
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The President of the Macon-Bibb NAACP branch says she is upset with a concept discussed by the Bibb County Board of Education.
Gwen Westbrooks says the school has discussed adding sixth, seventh, and eighth grades to two elementary schools–a move she considers unfair.
“Whatever we have to do as far as making sure that this does not happen, to make sure that our schools are not segregated, we will do that,” said Westbrooks.
Westbrooks, says she’s upset with the Bibb County Board of Education.
“To adopt just two schools to add sixth, seventh, and eighth grade is not acceptable,” said Westbrooks. “We will fight against that.”
According to a Bibb County School District memo, the board has examined adding sixth , seventh, and eighth graders to Springdale and Heritage Elementary.
Westbrook says doing this will promote school segregation at other schools.
“The NAACP has fought for many years to end public segregation in our public schools and basically they are trying to do the same thing,” said Westbrooks. “What will happen is basically saying that we’re separate but equal.”
The memorandum states the district conducted surveys with parents asking if they would keep their children at those elementary schools if more grades were added.
Almost 100 percent said yes at Heritage Elementary.
“Parents don’t want their children to go to school to Howard and Weaver Middle School because it’s predominately African American, that’s why they take their kids out of school,” said Westbrooks.
Westbrooks says it is only fair if sixth, seventh, and eight grade students are added to all elementary schools in the district.
“We have to hold people accountable for making sure our children get the education and the tools they need to learn,” said Westbrooks.
Westbrooks says the NAACP will take legal action if necessary to stop this addition from happening.
According to the memo, the board discussed reviewing school enrollment levels because of low enrollment at some schools in the district.
They’ve noticed kids leaving the district when they are done with elementary schools.
Bibb County School District spokesperson Stephanie Hartley says there are no changes with schools happening this upcoming school year and no plans or proposals have been voted on by the board.