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Baltimore County parents say new middle school creates problems for kids, caretakers

Baltimore County parents say new middle school creates problems for kids, caretakers
Baltimore County parents say new middle school creates problems for kids, caretakers 02:40

BALTIMORE -- Parents are voicing their concerns over four potential redistricting options for the opening of a new middle school in the northeast part of Baltimore County.

Parents are pushing back ahead of a redistricting meeting for Baltimore County Public Schools.

"It's communities we're talking about," Parent Emily Margolis said. "It's children were talking about."

BCPS announced four redistricting options for the opening of the new middle school along with plans to increase attendance at Pine Grove Middle School.

But some parents who live in the Baltimore area say that if those plans are approved, then it would cause a major divide in their community.

"We think this process has been extremely unfair," parent Scott Jenkins said.

Jenkins is one of the hundreds of Carroll Manor and Jacksonville community members affected by the proposed plans.

He said there is only one option among them that keeps their area's elementary school students attending nearby middle schools.

"We are a part of Jacksonville, and we want to stay together with them, and we'll do whatever it takes to make that happen," Jenkins said.

Parents say that sending Jacksonville and Carroll Manor students to Pine Grove in Carney would entail long bus rides and even longer commutes for those parents who don't live or work near the school.

"By shuffling kids around—particularly after three incredibly disruptive years of the pandemic—this is not the time," parent Emily Margolis said. "This is the time for kids to move on to middle school with their friends to continue to work on their social-emotional development and to have minimal disruption to their education." 

Margolis is the parent of a student at Hampton Elementary School.

She said she believes that splitting up the students would be detrimental to their development.

"Back to the drawing board," Margolis said. "Shuffling kids around to take some pressure off some of our kids in the northeast is not going to solve our problems."

BCPS has said that its districitng committee, which is made up of parents, teachers, and school representatives, is still in the process of finalizing its boundary study.

There will be another meeting for parents to give their input at G. W. Carver Center in Towson between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday.

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