Union County parents file complaint against school board - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union County parents file complaint against school board

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MONROE, NC (WBTV) -

Monday was the day parents and students continued their fight against the Union County school board. They did it through the courts.

"It's our only step left," Weddington High School Student Lars Knapp said. "If you want to be brutally honest, we have exhausted all the other options. They have failed to cooperate with their communities. The next step is the judicial system."

15 plaintiffs signed on to the 23 page lawsuit. Some gathered at the courthouse in Monroe Monday afternoon to see the paperwork get filed. They want an immediate injunction to stop redistricting. Parents are upset the school board approved a redistricting plan that would move about 3,000 students from their neighborhood schools to lower performing schools.

Parents have been fighting this move for months and thought the school board would delay their decision. But in a surprise move, the school board voted to approve redistricting.

"It makes me feel very angry," Plaintiff Katherine Condon said. "Very disappointed that the process that we are supposed to honor was not honored."

Lawyers argue not following the process is their main reason why redistricting is wrong.

"Government bodies and school boards," Lawyer Jo Bochicchio said. "Are supposed to be open and transparent, and we find this whole process was anything but."

The lawsuit claims the Union County School board failed to do studies regarding safety, transportation, and teacher impact before deciding to redistrict. Parents also claim the school board failed to adequately explain their reasons for their vote. Lawyers say in order to be granted an injunction, plaintiffs must prove students impacted will be injured or harmed.

"When the public process is not followed," Lawyer Erik Rosenwood said. "When the representatives of democracy don't represent you, that is a harm."

Union county School board chairman Richard Yercheck says he couldn't comment on the lawsuit because he has not seen it, but he has said in the past the school district is within its rights to redistrict and is confidant the courts will uphold their decision.

A judge could have a hearing on this injunction as early as next Monday but lawyers of the plaintiffs are pushing for an earlier date. 

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