HARRE DELIVERS POWERFUL SPEECH TO MACON R-1 SCHOOL BOARD
Earlier tonight, Amy Harre, a Clarence resident who would be one of many to be forced into the Macon R-1 School District if redistricting occurs, gave a powerful speech to the Macon R-1 School Board regarding again, redistricting. Her sons would be students impacted by the redistricting and would be forced to become a student at Macon R-1. Harre and other Shelby County folks in attendance, are AGAINST redistricting. Tonight the Macon R-1 School Board formally recognized the petition and approved of it to be sent to the Macon County Clerk to be verified - the school board has no choice, but to send the petition to the County Clerk after looking it over, which they did this evening. There are two petitions, one in Shelby County and one in Macon County, both looking to propose to the voters a boundary change, forcing an estimated 240 South Shelby Cardinals into the Macon R-1 School District. The Shelby County petition has been verified, now awaits verification of the Macon petition. If verified, voters in both districts will head to the ballot boxes on August 7th, 2018 to vote on this. Mrs. Harre was the only one at tonight’s meeting that spoke about the petition/redistricting. The following is the transcript of Mrs. Harre speech:
"Hello, I am Amy Harre. I am a proud, die hard South Shelby Cardinal. I am married to Dustin Harre & we have 2 sons. Colby is a junior at South Shelby and Connor is in 7th Grade. We love South Shelby. We love everything about South Shelby. We bleed red, white, and blue.
I want you to know that we know Macon is a great school. I myself am a graduate of Macon High School. My husband and I are Macon County land owners. We could have made our home here, but we chose to build outside of Clarence. So my words to you tonight, do not reflect any unjust feelings for Macon Tigers at all. So please please do not take offense to this.
On behalf of many many South Shelby people, we apologize for having you drug into this nightmare. You didn’t as for this. You are just as much of a victim as we are.
Our students have spent many hours, minutes, and years within the hallways and classrooms of the best school district in the whole world, Shelby County R-lV. As parents, we have donated time and money to the wonderful learning environment for our children. We all are connected. To be told that we may not be able to attend South Shelby, the school we love, is somewhat like being evicted from our homes. But we love that house. What do you mean that we can’t live here? This is NOT about better test scores. This is not about taxes. This about vindication.
The reality is that we just want our children to be happy and to remain with their friends and to continue to be joyful in their learning. No one can guarantee this will be true if our children are redistricted to Macon. The uncertainty is eroding school morale, parental morale, it is destroying community alliances and is bringing out the worst in people. Our social media is filled with horrendous fury that has made us ashamed and sad and we are seeing our communities in its absolute worst. It is defining us and not for the better. With each day that passes, I have yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. WE are all elated with the success of Prop. Kids! A new school is so exciting and makes us feel like our children are going to get the best education that can be offered. Now our future as South Shelby Cardinals has been darkened by the nightmare of redistricting to Macon school. Yes a nightmare. WE are seeing this like a venom that is spewed over the western end of our district. I have to admit…. I am terrified.
How do we parents accept that? I am begging you to help us weather this storm. As a district united we will be a better, stronger, school-wide community. SHELBINA AND CLARENCE. UNITED.
I won’t stand up here and give you pages of data about what this could do to our students, but I have done my homework. School changes for young children results in a host of problems. Including nutrition and health problems, below grade level reading and math scores, retention, and referral to special education. Special Education students will have more problems than the average students. Middle school and high school students, not only share these problems but are also associated with depression and the need for counseling as well as medication. Graduation probability is reduced when a student is uprooted, depressed, and medicated. Dropout rates are increased. Research shows that students are affected negatively psychologically, socially, and academically from changing schools. Please, I beg you, South Shelby students are more than a statistic. They are our sons, daughters, grandchildren, family, and friends. Our future depends on them. Are you prepared for this kind of devastation? I can only imagine that your facilities are not equipped with enough counselors to handle your possible upcoming caseload.
As of August 8th, 2018, our high school students have lost their class rank. The offices they hold in organizations such as FFA, FCCLA, FBLA, and more….GONE! Sports positions that have been earned all possibly gone. This is only a small example of what my sons and sons and daughters of 143 South Shelby Cardinals are faced with. AS you know young people, they all have enough invisible tigers they have to face each day without this.
I am begging you with all my heart, to help us end this horrendous war. Examine the names on your petition. It if is like ours, many names on the petition do NOT have children in school. Many do not even have grandchildren. Names were signed without the full story of the results of the petition. Please help us to help each other. Please stop this petition from going to the ballot.
Concerned parents and patrons are equipped to go to war against this. Many Macon people have joined our cause. In 48 hours our group grew to over 800 supporters both from Macon and South Shelby. We encourage you to help. We are desperate. We are angry. We are sad. Thank you for listening and thank you for your future support. I have a feeling this is going to be a long summer. Cardinal Pride."
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