Splitting Friends and Breaking Tradition?

By: Gordon Boyd
By: Gordon Boyd
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Knoxville (WVLT) - Short of consolidating, or outright closings, few school plans have generated more concern or outright anger than Knox County's proposed re-zoning to ease crowding and fill the soon-to-be completed Hardin Valley High School.

The school board is set to vote on some plan in three weeks.

Volunteer TV's Gordon Boyd finds parents are using a variety of tactics to fight it.

Some parents insist this isn't strictly about "NIMBY", Not In My Back Yard, but a bigger issue. Others wonder whether it's a done deal.

"I think we've dodged the bullet this time, so--I hope so," Becky Keen's only one street away from being zoned into West.

But son Chase, could lose several Bearden baseball teammates. "I think it'll be fun but I'd much rather have them on my team, it'd just be nicer to have them on my team."

"You're gonna send a small group of kids, we estimate about 50 children per grade, and right at the pivotal time of going from eighth grade to high school send them across the border if you will," Pam Treacy's daughter among them, as are her neighbors in Concord's Saddle Ridge subdivision.

But if they wind up out of Farragut, and into the new Hardin Valley High, "this has never been just about the short term problem for my children," she says. "Before that first brick was laid, someone should have created the zone, and we should have found out, two years ago, who was gonna go there."


Review the Rezoning Proposal

"Can't look in the past now, we've already made that decision," school board member Thomas Deakins says you can't stop building Hardin Valley High. But he knows why his email box is full.

"Here's one, rezoning Farragut High School, rezoning west of Beaver Creek," Deakins reads.

"We never wanna say, trade our neighborhood for your nieghborhood, we always want to set the facts of why we shouldn't go," Treacy says.

Deakins believe the plan needs tweaking. "One of the things we can look at is grandfathering of siblings, that may be something I'll support."

But for how many grade levels?

"You have to draw the line at some point," Deakins admits.

Which is why, if the line moves to include Becky Keen's neighborhood, "I don't think it's gonna change if you try to fight it. I think they've pretty well looked at everything and done the best that they can, so we would probably move."

Hardin Valley's set to open fall next year.

Juniors and seniors would have a choice, finish where they started, or transfer.


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