Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 6, 2014

Parents, teachers speak out on consolidation of Bland County schools

BASTIAN, Va. — The Bland County School system remains undetermined after public comments about consolidation of local schools were heard Thursday evening at a meeting with the board of supervisors and the school board.

Parents, teachers and other members of the county spoke out about consolidating the school system.

Tim Havens said he hopes the decision, whatever it may be, will be the right decision for the children of the county.

“I don’t see any other viable options other than to consolidate the schools, but I hope the decision is a benefit for the children,” Havens said.

Another parent and teacher Tiffany Carter said to either do it or don’t do it.

“I don’t enjoy coming here to these meetings every single year, either consolidate the schools or don’t consolidate them but I am tired of hearing about it. I want to know each year what is going on and whether I will have a job or not. I am sick of having to worry about it,” Carter said.

Rochelle Whipman, a teacher and parent said she has been supporting consolidation since the beginning.

“I have supported it as a teacher and a parent and I think personally it is the best choice,” Whipman said.

Whipman also asked for those in the audience in favor of consolidation to stand.

More than half of the people at the meeting stood in agreement with consolidation.

“I think that is your answer right there,” Whipman said.

Bland County superintendent Dr. Christopher Stacy said it is nice to have a community gathering that shows support in the school system.

“I think in the end, it’s the love for the kids and the best education we can give them. We don’t want to do anything behind closed doors and there needs to be meetings like this if there is going to be a solution to the problem,” Stacy said.

Bland County Administrator Dr. Eric Workman said the county board will move forward with a budget but the ultimate decision is up to the school board.

“No legal conversation could take place tonight due to two board members not being present for the meeting. No action could be taken,” Workman said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

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