Community concerned about the future of their high school

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. - R.A. Hubbard High School earned its place on the list of Alabama's failing schools. Now, community members worry students may transfer and the school will be forced to close.

The Lawrence County School Board met Tuesday night and the school's future was front and center in their discussion.

Members of the Lawrence County NAACP along with over 70 community members attended the school board meeting, and they had one clear message for the Lawrence County Superintendent; they do not want R.A. Hubbard closed.

It's mandated by law that the state publish the list of the bottom 6% based on standardized test scores. R.A. Hubbard is on that list.

"The only way that R.A. Hubbard can be closed is if the student body decreases," said Lawrence County NAACP President, J.E. Turnbore.

The future for nearly 150 students is up in the air and it all depends on one thing, enrollment.

"By state guidelines, students have the ability to transfer out if they so choose," said Lawrence County Superintendent, Dr. Jon Smith.

If enough students transferred to other county schools and enrollment drops, R.A. Hubbard will be forced to close. North Courtland's mayor says losing the school would devastate the town.

"We must have our school. Our school must stay there. so I'm asking all parents to fight, and stand as one," said North Courtland Mayor Riely Evans.

Over 70 people stood as one during the school board meeting to send a clear message.

"We will not go down without a fight.... because when we fight... we win," cheered Lawrence County NAACP Vice President, Bobby Diggs.

Community members say they don't want R.A. Hubbard to close.

"I am convinced that you are specifically and intentionally trying to shut down the schools in district one," said Diggs addressing Superintendent Smith.

Superintendent Smith said he learned Hubbard was on the failing list a month ago, but at this point, it's unclear what the district intends to do to address the situation.

WHNT News 19 asked the superintendent if RA Hubbard is worth saving. Smith's reply: "At this time I think a great deal of the next few steps of what will happen at R.A. Hubbard will depend on how many students transfer out."

The Lawrence County NAACP has a private meeting with the superintendent on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

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