R.A. Hubbard to host final graduation ceremony

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 7:39 AM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2022 at 7:47 AM CDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Over the past few days, thousands of students in the Tennessee Valley have graduated. On Thursday, a small group of R.A. Hubbard High School students will take the stage as well, as the school closes behind them for good.

This is a time of transition for the Lawrence County community, and a bittersweet moment for the teens who’ve made it to high school graduation as the final class to pass through R.A. Hubbard’s halls.

The graduating class is a small group of about 15 students and that’s part of why the school is closing in the first place. The superintendent and school board believe the enrollment is too small to justify keeping up with building repairs and operating costs.

[ READ MORE: Federal judge rules school board can shut down R.A. Hubbard High School ]

R.A. Hubbard is a predominantly Black school. With the closing, the remaining students will be transitioned to majority-white schools including Hatton High, East Lawrence High or East Lawrence Middle.

Opponents said this school means so much to their community, and argue it’s not a just decision. They argue the other schools are further away, making it more difficult for students to be as successful at Hatton High or East Lawrence.

District One school board member Christine Garner voted against closing Hubbard in December. She said she was “extremely disappointed but not totally surprised” by the ruling.

Ultimately, a judge allowed the closure to move forward. In May, that judge ruled the school board provided sufficient evidence that the decision was financially motivated, not racially motivated.

School leaders posted on Facebook as students prepare for graduation: “Through all the challenges presented to them this year, the Class of 2022 class has persevered. We applaud them for doing things ‘R. A. Hubbard Style’ and finishing their senior year strong.”

The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022 is happening Thursday evening at R.A. Hubbard’s gymnasium.

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