Last week, hundreds of students were unenrolled from school after a round of address verifications. Nearly a week later, dozens of parents are still fighting to get their children back in the classroom.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes learned that around 400 students were told last week that they are no longer students at Westlake High School in south Fulton County. Officials told students that address verifications proved they should be attending other schools.
The district told Fernandes overcrowding forced them to make this decision, but parents say the verification process wasn’t done correctly. Parents also say the district hasn’t taken the same approach in north Fulton County.
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Fulton County Public Schools needs to do the same thing they did in north Fulton, which is to put a pause on redistricting,” parent Kristin Carothers said.
School district officials redrew school zone lines so some neighborhoods that used to be in Westlake’s attendance zone are not anymore. Carothers said this affects 30 kids in her subdivision.
“We were told that our children could get on buses. We told the board we had concerns about the traffic on South Fulton Parkway, there have been a number of fatalities,” Carothers said.
The Stonewall Manor residents had a meeting over the weekend to say they believe that if the school district properly verified addresses, they wouldn’t have to be rezoned.
“Once address verifications are done properly, they’ll find there are more than enough seats at Westlake to accommodate the children who live in this community,” Carothers explained.
Some parents say it isn’t fair to uproot students in the middle of the school year, especially when many parents chose their homes based on the school zones.
“They should’ve verified from the beginning,” parent Aubrey Mitchell said. “That’s why some of us bought these homes over here in this neighborhood because of Westlake High School. We have been ignored.”
Fernandes received a statement from district officials saying redistricting is one issue and overcrowding is a different one. They added that they redistricted because other schools in the area are under capacity while Westlake was way over capacity.
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