HOUSTON -- What may have sounded at times like a pep rally erupted into scenes of outrage and anger in a high school auditorium Tuesday night.
“You close this school and you kill everybody in this neighborhood,” said a parent who spoke out during a community meeting called for by HISD.
At issue was the school district’s recently announced plans to close Jones High School and several other schools due to low enrollment figures.
“We are not going to let them come in to this community and close this school,” another parent proclaimed.
Parents and students took turns sounding off.
“It’s not that we don’t have the kids,” said Travis McGee, a long-time critic of HISD. “We don’t have the programs.”
McGee also accused the school district of misleading people who voted to support the 2012 bond, by erecting signs that said ‘vote for a new Jones.’
“When you think about it, a new Jones means a brand new building,” said McGee. “It doesn’t mean to close the building.”
HISD officials said the signs were not put up by the district but by private groups who supported the bond.
But some parents remained unmoved.
They also expressed concerns about moving their kids to either Sterling or Worthing High Schools, which is another provision of the plan.
An HISD official said that if Jones does have to close its doors, it would be in the best interest of all students.
“We have to make those decisions on doing what’s best as a district,” said Michael Cardona. “And that’s hard sometimes.”
The plan is scheduled to come up for a vote for the school board on March 14.