Community Forum Discusses School Rezoning

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - Local parents are up in arms about the proposed school re-zoning for Knox County, and tonight they've begun to hold the board, more specifically, the interim superintendent Roy Mullins, accountable.

Our Whitney Daniel heard from dozens of parents who say they just don't understand the logic behind the re-zoning.

That's what these forums are designed to do, allow parents to ask questions so they can better understand the process that led to Mullins' proposal.

The last major multiple high school re-zoning happened in 19-94. Mullins and his staff hope his proposal drawing new lines across the entire county will help alleviate the strain of over-crowding for at least 10 or more years.

"I didn't think it was that hard to change from 8th grade to here, but I think if I already started here, and I have to go somewhere else, you know, I have to make new friends, I would have to adapt and adjust," Bearden student Nicholas Zelenak said.

After checking out the proposed zones, Nicholas Zelenak is happy to say he's in a Safe Zone.

"I'm happy about it because Nicholas is already established here as a freshman, and we'd like him to finish his high school here," parent Randy Zelenak said.

The band has been a big draw for the Zelenaks, and Nicholas has been proud to be a part of Bearden's musical reputation.

"Last semester we went to competitions, and we have football games every Friday and academically taking classes it's been really fun, and I hope I can continue doing it," Nicholas said.

Right now he will, but his friend, won't. It's scenarios like this that several dozen parents are upset about.

"It bothers me that I look at this and that for growth in this area, we're effecting everyone in the entire county," one parent said.

Interim Superintendent, Roy Mullins says he's doing the best he can to please parents and make sense of the growth in West Knox County.

"As developers go out and occupy land and put up subdivisions, of which we have no control over, you cannot constantly just go out and keep building high schools and middle schools and elementary schools to follow that," Mullins said.

And as Nicholas and his parents pore-over the maps, they know nothing is set in stone just yet.

"The first thing I thought was, Yes! I'm not going to be going anywhere," Nicholas said. "Then I realized that's just temporary for now. If the board members decide to revote and have a different change, you know, it could go either way."

Tonight was one of three meetings. It's the first set of public forums for parents.

Here's a list of the upcoming forums and their sponsors:

Thomas Deakins
April 23, 6:00 p.m.
Farragut High School Auditorium

Cindy Buttry
April 24 6:30 p.m.
Karns High School Auditorium

Rex Stooksbury
April 24 6:30 p.m.
Powell High School Auditorium

Indya Kincannon
April 25 7:00 p.m.
Fulton High School Auditorium


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