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UPDATED: Parents host town hall to discuss closing of Gladys Elementary

April 19, 2010
  • The Campbell Co. school board has tried to close Gladys Elementary many times - it's the oldest school in the county.
The Campbell Co. school board has tried to close Gladys Elementary many times - it's the oldest school in the county.

In Campbell County, parents are hoping to save an elementary school on the chopping block.

The school board has tried to close Gladys Elementary many times - it's the oldest school in the county.

But this year, thanks to deep budget cuts, the school may be out of second chances.

Gladys Resident Carolyn Isaacs says she's tired of seeing her neighborhood school used as a solution to a budget problem.

She said, "I don't know how the teachers have done it. Every year, they've had to teach and keep the kid's spirits up, under the threat that they will not have a job next year."

This year, the threat of closing is more real than ever, so parents packed the school for a meeting, to stratagize a way to keep Gladys Elementary open.

They shared concerns with their school board member and Congressman Tom Perriello.

Parents like Kristi Whitesell worry other schools won't be ready to handle the extra students.

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She pointed out that, "Wherever our children end up, they're going to be in a larger class."

Whitesell worries the commute down 501 could be dangerous for kids - a concern parents in other parts of the county say they're already dealing with.

Brookville resident Barbara Rypkema said, "My children already ride the school bus 45 minutes and we go three miles. We go up and down Timberlake Road, which is just as dangerous as 501 and has the same accident statistics."

Barbara also claims that not closing the schools will affect students in her area.

She says, "We're looking at higher class numbers too and whereas their numbers will go up if they combine with Brookneal, my (class size) numbers could go up from 26 to 28."

Gladys parents say they're not trying to start a fight, they're just looking out for their own.

Everyone who came out for tonight's meeting was encouraged to sign up and speak at the next Board of Supervisors meeting on May 3rd in Rustburg.

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Some Campbell County parents aren't letting one of their schools close without a fight.

They're holding a town hall meeting at Gladys Elementary School Monday at 7 p.m.

The event will address concerns over the proposed closing of Gladys Elementary at the end of this school year.

Congressman Tom Perriello is scheduled to be at the meeting.

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