Community members lined up Monday night to ask Dublin ISD board members to reconsider their decision to proceed with construction plans at the high school to accommodate junior high students, but the board opted to move forward with the plan.
The vote, which passed with a 4-2 vote with Lathes Towns and Adrianne Fails voting against the measure, was the first step toward beginning construction on the current high school facility to incorporate the junior high.
Several teachers and community members spoke out against the measure, citing the belief that it would be dangerous to place seventh grade students with 17 and 18 year old students.
"I agree the junior high needs new facilities, but there has to be a better way," teacher Shari Heaton said. "One of my main concerns is the exposure of our 12 and 13 year old seventh graders to seniors. We have enough romantic problems without adding all those older kids to the mix. I know I don't want my seventh grade daughters around those kids."
Superintendent Dr. Rodney Schneider said district officials have worked on construction plans and scheduling to ensure the students would rarely come into contact with one another. He said the only overlap would be in the library, which is hardly used.
"It is our duty as board members to ensure we do all we can so that these kids have the best opportunity to get the best education possible while in our district," said board president Daniel Thiebaud. "I believe this is the most effective way to go about that at this time."
Sara Vanden Berge is the managing editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ETeditor.