Union County group set to file lawsuit against B.O.E. - myfoxcarolinas.com

Union County group set to file lawsuit against B.O.E.

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The Union County Board of Education passed a plan last night to implement a school-redistricting program that will shift nearly 6,000 students.

Today, community members, parents and students, already began to fight back.

"We are going to file a lawsuit," parent and attorney Chris Bernard said. "...Because information hasn't been provided and we feel the procedures have been violated and we're going to seek an injunction of the redistricting."

A group of just over a dozen met in Waxhaw from 6-8 this evening. Along with the lawsuit, they plan on encouraging each student affected by redistricting to file a personal complaint, which they say the board has to acknowledge.

"Sure, that's a right we have to file these appeals and we're going to exercise those right and exhaust the process," Bernard said. "If that's a lot of work for the board -- that's what they're going to have to deal with."

The group is setting up all of the necessary online information to coordinate their efforts -- i.e. website, social networking, etc.

"Basically we are letting the experts do what they do," parent and former commissioner Tracy Kuehler said. "So from a legal standpoint, if the Board of Education wasn't willing to slow this down, we're going to slow this down."

The sudden decision is what sent so many parents -- and even board members -- into shock. The board originally said they had until April to make a decision, so last night's motion and decision, was a surprise.

Board member Marce Savage was so distraught at being unaware her fellow board members were jumping early on the redistricting, she walked off stage before casting her vote.

Sherry Hodges, the one of nine members who voted against the plan, was shocked at the timing.

"I'm not saying that there are not overcrowding issues in our school, there certainly are," Hodges said last night during the meeting. "But the rush to get this done does not make sense to me...So I guess I'm just up here making noise at this point. I'm saddened at the process and I guess I don't have anything else to say."

The redistricting plan was passed 20 seconds following her statement.

Today, Union County Commissioners are distraught at the process -- specifically the timing and the board's refusal to accept their offer of $3 million for mobile classrooms.

"I thought it was a rush to judgment," vice chair Jerry Simpson said. "There was a lot of families, hundreds of people that poured their heart and soul doing a lot of research, pleading with the board of education."

We contacted board members via phone call, text message and email today -- but we were left with zero responses.
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