Parents work to change Shelby County School re-zoning plans

Thursday, parents from Sycamore View Elementary School talked to the Shelby County School Board about race.

Danita Jones has a kindergartner at Sycamore View in Collierville. "It appears to me that there is segregation in the school system," she said.

Jones, along several other Sycamore parents, were concerned about one of the board's rezoning plans---to transfer dozens of students from Southwind Elementary into Sycamore View next year to ease over crowding.

"Sycamore school is the only school in Collierville that is currently racially balanced," said parent Chris Carlson.

Meaning at least 17% of the school's population is African-American---and the students don't all come from affluent neighborhoods.

Thursday, Sycamore parents argued the school board should consider placing Southwind students in to schools that not only have the space, but also need the diversity.

"There's six white children in my daughter's class, six African-Amercans and six foreign students, and I would say there's not another school in the area that would have that racial balance," Jones said.

Sycamore parents also complained that they are facing their own growth spurt, with new housing development going up all the time that could lead to their school becoming overcrowded, too.

The Sycamore parents' efforts paid off. The board decided to transfer Southwind students to Bailey Station Elementary, which just opened last year, and has an African-American population of roughly 13%
School board president David Pickler said the board makes rezoning decisions every year, not based on race, but based on an exploding population and over crowded schools.