Marshall Middle celebrates a bittersweet 55th anniversary - WRBL

Marshall Middle celebrates a bittersweet 55th anniversary

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Marshall Middle School celebrated its 55th anniversary, but the school board's proposal to shut it down was a dark cloud over the event.

With Edgewood Elementary and Marshall on the proposed chopping block, citizens are using every opportunity to find alternative solutions to closing the schools.

Students from Marshall's Saturday School gathered with parents, professors and preachers to commemorate 55 years of education.

Principal Michael Forte says no matter what the school board decides, he only wants the best for his kids. "If we don't train our children now," he says, "if we don't show them that we love them now, then we may not have doctors and paramedics and firemen and lawyers and teachers."

Rev. Albert Sanders, Jr., 2nd vice president of the Columbus NAACP, says, "If you cannot appreciate or see where you came from, where you grew up, your roots, you lose the ability to stand tall and stand and weather the storm."

Aaliyah's sister Talia attends Marshall, and she says, "If you take down this school, what if there's more...more kids are coming into this world and what if there's no more schools left? You should keep this one."

Parents from both Edgewood and Marshall are working together to keep the schools open, and they have decided to split two public hearings to discuss the proposals. The school board scheduled two meetings for each school at the same times. The citizens will use the first date to meet at Edgewood and the second to meet at Marshall.

CSU professor Dr. Florence Wakoko-Studstill says, "Give it some time. Let them listen to the proposals that Marshall school is going to bring forth, and let them review them carefully and find an alternative approach."

The hearings are at Edgewood Elementary Tue. May 14 at 6 p.m. and Marshall Middle Wed. May 15 at 6 p.m.

Afterwards the concerned citizens will present their proposals to the school board.

The school district needs to cut $40 million to balance next year's budget.

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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