Town hall response to school re-zoning heated - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Town hall response to school re-zoning heated

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Mayor Battle attended Monday's town hall meeting and answered tough questions from the assembly. Mayor Battle attended Monday's town hall meeting and answered tough questions from the assembly.

At a town hall meeting organized Monday night by Huntsville City Councilman Richard Showers, residents spoke out against the city school board's plans to re-zone the district.

Less than one week after the Department of Justice explained their opposition to the school board's proposed re-zoning plans, the town hall meeting was held in North Huntsville, where unrest is growing among many residents.

Attendees voiced their displeasure with the school board, the re-zoning plans, and above all, Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski.

Councilman Will Culver and Mayor Tommy Battle were also in attendance. Battle respectfully listened and answered tough questions thrown at him. Wardynski was not in attendance, though his name was listed on the agenda.

"Dr. Wardynski and those at the Huntsville City Schools put up a block, and what they are doing is angering this side of town. I have never met a person or an officer, or a former officer, who is so disrespectful to people," said resident Ocie Maddox, Jr. 

Things became heated at times, as people demanded answers – some saying their concerns and suggestions have been ignored. They said the Department of Justice is spot-on with its rejection of Huntsville's plan.

"The DOJ was one-hundred percent correct," said Maddox. "They failed and they want to paint the picture that we have a few things that we agree on, but no - have you talked to people in this community?"

The main concern stands with the new Jemison High School. Folks want to know how that school is considered desegregated when minorities will be the majority, and if the same educational opportunities at other schools will be available.

"If you notice tonight, we never did get the answer to that question. How are we going to integrate the new Jemison School?" asked resident and former educator Veronica P. Curtis.

That question is one of many the community still wants Dr. Wardynski to answer.

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