Mint Hill rallies to show support for school boundaries

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Just a couple hours after Charlotte-Mecklenburg released its final recommendation for the attendance zone for the new Mint Hill high school, more than 100 turned out on the town hall lawn to express their support for a boundary map that would send Mint Hill kids to the Mint Hill high school.

Ten speakers addressed the crowd, all of them calling for the community to stick together no matter what the CMS Board of Education decides on Tuesday. However, this didn’t prevent several speakers from voicing dismay at the way the Board has handled the attendance zone process.

Board of Education member Kay McGarry perhaps had the harshest words of all for her fellow board members.

“If this is indicative of how the Board of Education works with your community, then God help us all,” McGarry told the crowd.

The board is expected to okay the latest boundary map drawn up by CMS staff. It calls for most of Mint Hill to attend Independence High School, while the new school, located within town limits, will serve mostly students from the Reedy Creek and JH Gunn communities.

Carol Weddle, a former Butler High School PTA president and a member of Mayor Ted Biggers boundary committee, told the crowd that CMS mislead Mint Hill when it asked for support of the 2007 bonds. The Mint Hill high school is being built with funds from those bonds.

“Stop using your personal and political agendas to populate our schools,” Weddle said.

Along with Biggers, all four Mint Hill Board of Commissioners attended. Biggers, Tina Ross and Lloyd Austin addressed the crowd.

Ross told the crowd she  didn’t understand why the process for determining boundaries at the Mint Hill high school was different than that of Bailey High School, CMS’s other high school set to open in the 2010-2011 school year.

Others, such as Clark Goodman, told the crowd he was angry because he felt like CMS was treating Mint Hill residents as commodities.

In the end, most called for unity if CMS decides to approve the plan that will send Mint Hill students to Independence.

“As a community, we need to stick together,” Biggers said. “If you put us in one facility, then we all need to make this the best high school around.”

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