Edgewood residents fight to keep elementary school open - WRBL

Edgewood residents fight to keep elementary school open

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Edgewood residents are rallying to save their elementary school. The school board's proposal to put it on the chopping block has the community speaking up.

Concerned citizens met in the Edgewood community to talk about Edgewood Elementary and its importance to the neighborhood, and they say they won't let the school get shut down without a fight.

Edgewood Neighborhood Watch coordinator Isaac Brown, Jr. says, "This school here plays a major part in our community. This school here need not to be closed down. This school needs to stay right where it's at right now."

He says without the elementary school, the community will turn into a ghetto.

Besides holding public meetings and events, the school caters to area youngsters even though its 355 students only meet 71% of the school's capacity.

Michelle Brown, an Edgewood Elementary parent, says, "My children, especially my son with special needs, he needs the extra assistance that he's getting at Edgewood, and without it God knows what's going to happen to him in addition to the other special needs children at this school."

She organized a petition to keep the school open and has gotten more than 500 signatures so far. "People are signing it from all over the city, not just Edgewood community," she says, "so that shows me that the city is tired and they're standing up for something, because if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Isaac adds, "We have the whole entire community behind this program. We don't want to see this school closed down under any circumstances. We don't need that."

He says he wants the school board to come into the Edgewood community to see the school's impact. Michelle just wants the board to rethink the proposal.

She adds, "It doesn't need to be a quick decision, because if it becomes a quick decision, then the children are going to be the only ones hurt."

The Edgewood community will present concerns at Monday's school board meeting. School board chair Rob Varner was not available to comment. Former chair Cathy Williams says members haven't been briefed on the proposal yet but will hear all arguments on Monday.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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