Rezoning: Parents Speak Out

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - This comprehensive re-zoning has certainly struck a nerve with parents throughout the county. Some are so angry, they've threatened to move or send their child to private school.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel joins to highlight some of the parents' issues with the proposal.

Parents just want their voices to be heard. They say they are really disappointed that they didn't get to speak tonight, but they used "strength in numbers" to help get their points across.

"It makes no sense. Where are they coming up with these ideas?" Farragut parent Jeanne Gilmartin said.

In a nutshell, that's how most Knox County parents affected by re-zoning say they feel. And if their cheers and shouts at this meeting didn't send a strong message to school board members, they don't know what will.

"I'm hoping that the school board's eyes will be open to what it's constituents want," Powell parent Don McClanahan said.

They want compromise.

"We opposed that because of the division in the neighborhood and also because we don't want our children to go to a low-academically performing school zone," Carter parent Pat Kurtsinger said.

Although parents weren't permitted to speak at this meeting, but school board members raised concerns of their own. The crowd responded to show their support or dislike. their main concern is dividing communities.

"They'll be alienated from everybody. They do everything in Farragut, their sports and everything else and we're concerned about that," Gilmartin said.

Other concerns cover convenience and safety.

"The after-school activities are that much more difficult and then when they start driving, safety issues are a big concern for us," Farragut parent David Rexrode said.

Basically, parents want a say...

"Seemed like it was kind of under the radar kind of thing," McClanahan said.

And through some upcoming public meetings, they hope to get it...

"They've listened to an awful lot, but are they listening? That's my question," Gilmartin said.

Parents will get a chance to speak their minds in the next week. Starting tomorrow, board members will begin hosting public forums in their districts.

In addition, parents passed these fliers out, inviting everyone to a countywide forum Thursday April 26th from 6:30-8:30 at the Knoxville Expo Center.


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