Community shares growing concerns over possibility of failing school’s closure

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. – It’s been 11 days since the state released the failing schools list.  The Lawrence County NAACP is holding a series of community meetings over concerns that one failing school on the list, R.A. Hubbard, could be shut down.

The first meeting was held Monday night at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Courtland. Community members from Courtland, Red Bank, and Town Creek are coming together to make educated decisions for their children and to protect their school from closing.

The NAACP met with the Lawrence County superintendent last Tuesday.

“One of the most positive things that come out of that meeting is that we were able to delay the letter going out to the parents. So that was more important to us than anything,” said Lawrence County NAACP Vice President Bobby Diggs.

State law requires superintendents to give students the opportunity to transfer to other schools within the district if they currently attend a failing school. Before the letter goes out, the NAACP along with the superintendent are holding several more community meetings.

“The more information you have the better decision that you can make. These meetings, they are for your benefit,” said Diggs.

Lawrence County NAACP leaders say Superintendent Smith told them during their meeting that he is remaining neutral. Dr. Smith told WHNT News 19 the same thing last week at the school board meeting.

“As far as leaning one way or another, we have been advised from the Alabama State Department of Education to stay neutral,” said Dr. Jon Bret Smith.

Diggs says that doesn’t make sense.

“You as a superintendent, how can you remain neutral and this is your school. You made a pledge when you took the oath of office to take care of every student in this county,” said Diggs.

One question that the community still wants answered: What is Superintendent Smith doing to help save R.A. Hubbard?

“As of right now, we can’t see anything he is doing to help the school,” said Diggs.

Diggs encourages the community to have their questions for Dr. Smith ready at next week’s meetings.

Community Meetings Regarding R.A. Hubbard

  • Monday, November 11 – Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church at 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 14 – First Baptist Church Courtland at 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, November 18 – Superintendent Smith to attend- Hazelwood Elementary at 5:30 p.m.
  •  Tuesday, November 19 – Superintendent Smith to attend- R.A. Hubbard at 5:30 p.m.

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