From Four To Two, Martin County Makes Its Decision On School Consolidation

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A Pair of Martin County schools will no longer exist when students return back to class this fall.

Despite the outrage of hundreds of students and parents, the county board of education voted 4 to 2 to consolidate and shut down Jamesville and Bear Grass high schools. Students from the Jamesville district are expected to transfer over as early as middle school to the Williamston School District. Students from Bear Grass are expected to transfer to the Roanoke School District. The board members in favor say the two schools are old and enrollment is declining.

An amendment to change the name, colors and mascot of both Williamston and Roanoke High Schools was upheld. Also, money for class rings bought this year by next years rising seniors will be refunded by the county.

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The vote is scheduled for Monday on whether or not to shut down Bear Grass and Jamesville High Schools.

County Superintendent Doctor Tom Daly says Both Bear Grass and Jamesville High Schools are old and enrollment is declining.

Their proposal is to send students to Roanoke And Williamston High Schools instead.

Opponents of the plan say they're prepared to sue the school board if the two high schools are closed.

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The idea of combining four different schools into two in Martin County raised some serious tension Monday night inside Williamston High School.

County superintendent Tom Daly says both Bear Grass and Jamesville High Schools are old and enrollment is declining,

So to solve the problem, the school district proposed to combine the two schools with Roanoke and Williamston High Schools.

It was standing room only inside the auditorium as parents, students and community members addressed school officials. One student, who has gone to Bear Grass her whole life, says she doesn't want to change schools and wants to graduate from Bear Grass.

Parent Gregory Rogers says many parents are really afraid to combine mostly white Bear Grass High School with mostly black Roanoke High School.

Martin County school officials will vote on the shutdown and combination of the schools in February.