Proposed changes in Lebanon have students, parents worried

Proposed changes in Lebanon have students, parents worried (Image 1)

Wilson County residents have more questions than answers over what to do with three overcrowded schools.

One of the proposals includes opening a new middle school in parts of the old Lebanon High School, a building that was deemed unusable by the district.

Concerned parents and teachers attended a meeting at the old high school Saturday morning.

School board members attempted to have a conversation about what should happen next.

Teachers and parents sounded off against the idea of starting a new middle school at the old Lebanon High School.

“If we started here August 1, where would our kids be practicing?” one concerned parent asked.

Even some students stood up in a meeting that became heated, at points.

“What makes y'all think that y'all can make us move here, when y'all can renovate the three schools with that money?” a concerned seventh grader asked the panel.

The concern centered on whether the old Lebanon High School is safe and suitable for new students to learn there, and whether to even create a separate middle school, which would break some students away from their kindergarten through eighth grade experience.

“We've been here since kindergarten,” the seventh grader told Nashville's News 2. “We don't like to switch schools out of nowhere. We don't want to go to this school, really.”

Students aren't the only ones confused and upset about the potential changes.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Tina Blair, a parent of a Southside Elementary School student. “I don't feel like they're trying to pull the wool over us, [but] I don't think they've given due diligence to answer the questions that the people have.”

If the old high school is turned into a middle school, only the newer additions would be used, but there would still be a need for new technology and significant upgrades to the cafeteria.

“My goal in this whole process has been to try to determine which way the kids learn best,” said Ron Britt, Vice Chairman of the Wilson County School Board. “That should be our job, our desire, certainly that should be the desire of every parent.”

He added, “If you're not comfortable where you're learning that's half the battle.”

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