SCS votes to close Carver High School

SCS votes to close historic Carver High
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Schools voted to close Carver High School during a meeting held Thursday. District administrators opted to close the school based on its academic standing and severe under-enrollment.

There have been numerous efforts to stop the closure, but Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he doesn't see a viable path to keep the campus open.

People who fought to keep Carver High School open are not giving up.

"We don't feel that they're fair in what they're doing," said Rev. Ralph White, New Bloomfield Baptist Church & Carver Alumni Association.

More than 100 Carver High School supporters were at the meeting wearing shirts and carrying signs. They presented a petition with 2,500 signatures asking to keep the school open.

"We've got a lot of things on the table. We made a proposal to them. And I guess they looked at it and said, 'No, we've got our minds made,'" Rev. White said.

Rev. White, who has been leading the charge against the closure, asked the board to change district lines and allow them one more year to recruit kids from charter schools in order to get the enrollment numbers up.

After the board voted, Carver High School supporters flooded the hallway and began planning their next move.

"But, we're going to talk to an attorney, get legal advice as to where do we proceed from here," Rev. White said.

Shelby County Schools board member Scott McCormick said he knows how much the closure hurts the community.

"But, we do have to look at the bigger picture and the statistics of the school, the declining enrollment, the performance of the school, and in the interest of the students, it was better to move them to a higher performing school," he said.

Rev. White doesn't think that is what will actually happen.

"They're going to send them into gang-infested schools like Hamilton. Look at the distance. All those things are to be taken into consideration," he said.

Rev. White is not ready to give up hope. And neither are the Carver High School supporters behind him.

"No, I'm not. And I'm going down with this ship," said Linda Bachus. "I'm here until the end."

Rev. White announced a community meeting for Carver High School supporters will be held Monday night at Bloomfield Baptist Church at 6 p.m.

In a surprising twist, SCS board member McCormick announced his plan at the next meeting to ask the board to change its mind on delaying the closure of Northside High School for one year and instead, to close it immediately.

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