make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Victory for neighborhood schools in New Hanover County

READ MORE: Victory for neighborhood schools in New Hanover County

The New Hanover County School Board has approved a middle school redistricting plan. It passed a revised version of option 2C was approved Thursday night. This puts an end to several months of debates, discussion and public forums. The school board was forced to redistrict because Holly Shelter Middle School is scheduled to open in August.

In a four to three vote Thursday night the New Hanover County School Board passed a redistricting plan that turns out to be a victory for supporters of neighborhood schools.

"I don’t feel like I cast the swing vote, but as chairman I did cast the tie-breaking vote," school board chair Ed Higgins said. "I was in favor of option 2C all along."

Taylor Jones has children who attend school in New Hanover County. He attended every redistricting forum the last 11 months. He supports the revised 2C option, but he says it’s not perfect.

"There are still some satellite districts within 2C," Jones said. "I wish they could have moved the satellites to make a true neighborhood school. It's unfortunate, but on the north end of town there will be some students who have to travel 13 miles to get to their school."

Board member Dorothy DeShields is disappointed with the redistricting outcome. She voted against the 2C plan along with board members Nick Rhodes and Elizabeth Redenbaugh. DeShields told WWAY NewsChannel3 that Williston, Virgo and the new Holly Shelter middle schools will have too many students on a free or reduced lunch plan with option 2C. She says it’ll be more than 60 percent at all three schools. She prefers a redistricting plan that would reflect more socio-economic diversity.

"It should have students from poor homes, median income homes and from rich homes and those children could feed on each other in a positive way," DeShields said. "When you separate you're almost segregating the schools."

For more information on middle school redistricting, visit the New Hanover County School Board's website.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Missing the point

You are all missing the point. All children deserve a great education. Let us not forget no child left behind (not the ridiculous program it became but the statement that should have made people think and act). If for a minute you think that all children do not need some individual learning techniques, or more attention to reading , math, science or social studies than others you are all only fooling yourselves. For any educated person to think that by busing certain children/ from certain neighborhoods to a school 10 to 15 miles away to consolidate the need to form programs to help these children is ridicules. Programs are needed to provide individual help to students from every neighborhood. Programs are needed in every neighborhood. Parent involvement is need in every school, as well and these parents need their children to be close to home or as close as possible. The fact still remains that the land choice was a bad decision and now my child is stuck getting bused 12 to 15 miles to attend a school on ground no one wanted with two neighborhood’s that are noted rival gangs. It took more than 12 months for 7 educated adults with children’s best interest at heart to come up with that….Please….
I do believe in neighborhood schools and there is enough diversity within each area around each middle school to accomplish that.

Check it out first....

The neighborhoods are not that diverse around ALL middle schools. I guess that you haven't visited Williston or Virgo before making that statement:)

I know nobody in the South

I know nobody in the South cares how it was done in the North, but where I grew up we had neighborhood schools. IF your socioeconomic status caused your child to go to a school that you found to be unpleasant, you could go to the district office and put in an application (and I never knew of one to be denied) and have your child sent or bussed to a better school in a better community. But most of our 'city' schools had some special program of study or were a true magnet school; so many people from the suburbs would be bussed into the city schools as well. The city school district did ALOT to make the city schools better and offer many accelerated and special programs for students.
I'm not saying they did things the right way, but it's an idea and it gives people an option if they do not have option to move.

I am from the South

I am from the South and I have always believed in neighborhood schools. My husband grew up withing walking district of one of the high schools, but his neighbor across the street was bussed to a different school. My cousin passed by one high school on the bus to get to his assigned school. It is ridiculous. The county schools are funded by the county and the resources should be allotted equally to ensure that the quality of education at each school is equal.

My daughter was in the New Hanover County school system for her first three years and although she actually went to school closest to our house I am glad to be out of that system. Next year she starts her seventh year in the Brunswick County school system and my younger daughter will be starting her fourth. It is such a relief to know that they won't have to keep changing schools at the whims of a handful of people who want to redraw the lines every other year.

Impossible to satisfy you.....

There is absolutely no way everybody will be satisfied with ANY school board decision...that's the bottom line. The disturbing fact here is the atmosphere of these hideous posts below with one particular poster rising horrible racial overtones by the use of statements such as "I have clorox for your white sheets..." insinuating KKK outfits. I was furious to read this type of race inciting jargon and responded with a post that wasn't published, likely for good reason as It made me angry.

This US of A we live in has come a long way. Freedoms for women an people of color have changed for the better. To find ignorant posts referring to the KKK and references of posted signs stating who uses what bathrooms or what water fountains is totally out of pocket for this subject and does nothing other than incite hate and prolong racism. I won't even discuss the sense ot total ignorance that I suspect.

This day and age affords everybody the same public education, black wite, red or yellow. It is a matter of family upbringing and personal motivation as to whether it is taken advantage of or not. It has nothing to do with rich kids schooling with poor kids or white kids schooling with black kids. It has EVERYTHING to do with family values, family participation and their involvement with their children. There are too many children left alone, without help with their homework or just to simply answer questions. I mentor at a local middle school 2 hours, twice a week. I have very eager, bright-eyed children that are literally starving for knowledge. They just don't have anyone at home that cares.

Now, THAT is a fact and THAT is what needs to be concentrated on!!!

Fact: One of the New Hanover

One of the New Hanover County Schools' Vision Statements is:
We have equity at all schools regarding facilities, services and staffing.

On May 17, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the US Supreme Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

I don't understand how these two simple statements can be ignored by the current New Hanover County Board of Education.

I don't understand how, since Wilmington has mostly segregated neighborhoods, we can expect to have unsegregated neighborhood schools. "Neighborhood schools" is a "nice" way of saying "segregated schools". "Magnet schools" is a "nice" way of saying "segregated schools with a black majority, but if we put a fancy name like School of Science and Math in front of the name, maybe people won't notice".

Actually, race and economic status DOES matter in the expectations for New Hanover County students and schools. I know this because I taught at the "best school under the sun" -- Williston. There was an unwritten, but often said phrase (among educators!) that Virgo and Williston were expected to come in at the bottom in achievement tests, and not just because the names of the schools are at the bottom of the alphabet.

I loved teaching at Williston, but we always felt like underdogs. Always.

-- Very Concerned in Wilmington

p.s. I'm white, if that matters.

Think of the kids...

What if parents thought of the kids in their decision on this? I attended the same school system in New Hanover from K-12, and was in high school when the school board started pushing for redistricting each year. Kids who grew up together were split apart. If two kids were close friends, it didn't matter. One was sent to a school across town. From the beginning, redistricting caused headaches for parents who had to drive the children across town. It disrupted the lives of the students, taking the stability out of their environment. There are so many decisions parents are making on behalf of children these days without taking into consideration the lives which are most affected. It's rediculous, this inconsiderate push for monetary "equality" parents have. I know, for a fact, based on personal experience, that it is possible for children who come from backgrounds with less money to be close friends with those who have more. It has to do with how parents raise their kids. Raise kids with your mind, not your pocket. Learn from someone who was personally and negatively affected by redistricting. It's not worth it.

Yes, i am very upset about

Yes, i am very upset about the decision, and my kid will go to private school because of it. Will not be an issue if we stayed in have it your way, i have it mine.


you people are killing me...this has NOTHING to do with race...unless you are saying that race plays a part in how much you make, your job, where you live and how smart you are...are you saying we are different? I believe that ALL are created equal and have EQUAL opportunity to succeed in this either PURSUE IT...or you don't...if you don' have no reason to moan and groan about your life and try to punish those who DID pursue and attain a better way of life...I have people of all races living in my neighborhood, but some of you are wanting this to be something its NOT..the 3 that didn't vote for 2C want to base schools on social what are they saying...poor people are STUPID?...I don't believe that for a second! Neighborhood schools WILL work...if the schools poor people are going to will stop making them feel like they can never crawl out of poverty and acting like they are STUPID because they can't sit beside someone who is richer in the classroom...these children just might have a chance!

Check it out first....

You should really get out of your neighborhood and visit the neighborhoods of Williston and Virgo. They are NOT diverse like your neighborhood. This is a new form of segregation and the School Board members who voted for it were also the same who were caught passing around literature that was derogatory toward minorities. Those same School Board members use language like "those people" to describe the children and parents who don't look like them. They smile on TV...sure but have found a way to divide this community even more. They are not to be trusted and should be removed from the board. Their perspectives of education keep ALL children trapped at least 40 years behind in education. It is time that it is out with the old and in with the new. We need 21st Century leadership and vision!


I totally agree with Art. That's the way it should be.

These comments are

These comments are interesting; there are grammatical errors in so many of them that I wonder if these writers ever went to school ANYWHERE.


Finally they came to their senses to save fuel, stop putting children on the dangerous streets of New Hanover and keep them close to home. Lord, it took long enough to get it done!!

Ghetto...the whole point of

Ghetto...the whole point of this article and problem is the opposite of yours. These people DON'T live in the "ghetto" and are being bussed to downtown/poor schools. They pay high taxes and expect their children to have a better education without the socio/economic problems of the lesser fortunates. I say lesser fortunates, but most of them are black and on welfare. You can call that "racist" but then you would have the problem that the fact is it's true. Saying a fact doesn't make one a racist. There is a problem in culture and few succeed. There again, call me racist, but it's still a fact. Doesn't make it my fault or anyone elses, except maybe the person living a lifestyle a lifelong journey on welfare. They work harder at keeping welfare than they would a job. This isn't inclusive of all welfare recipients, but most. Mexicans are now another problem that our schools didn't need. Alot of kids don't speak the language good enough to succeed and keep our English speaking kids back. The teachers CANNOT move faster than the slowest child in the class. Because of the fairy godmother everyone seems to think if we combine, black/white/non-English we will just have a grand ole melting pot. Sorry, doesn't work out for the best for anyone. Call me what you will, doesn't make what I say any less true.

You are contradicting yourself

If "most of them are black on on welfare" as you state, then how they obviously DON'T "pay high taxes" now do they? Us hardworking individuals are paying the taxes that support these welfare leaches that are now trying to stake a claim in our children's schools. They already take away money that could feed and clothe my children ... and now they are trying to interfere with their education too.

I said, They who pay higher

I said, They who pay higher taxes are the ones who DON't want their children going to poor schools. I agree with you, duh. Maybe you should calm your anger and READ again.

thank God for Redenbaugh, Deshields and Rhodes

We have defenders and advocates for ALL our children who think not only about their lives, but the life of our community! Racism has been outed on this board...ignorance is apparent...unfortunately it is supported. The children will suffer. We are responsible.


explain how its racism...this is based on ECONOMIC are you saying because you are one color or the other...YOUR POOR...because of your color? Interesting....

Welcome to the country

Welcome to the country controlled by the dumb, dumb Democratics. For all of you who work hard to provide better lives for your children work harder so that others can take advantage of it too!

I was never rich growing

I was never rich growing up,but my dad worked very hard so we could live in a good neighborhood.My first year of school i went to Blair Elementary school,a very good school close to my house in Kings Grant.The next year that all changed.I had to get on a bus and go to Blunt Elementary,right in the middle of the ghetto.Good thing my dad worked so hard!Maybe if my name was Nunu and my dad lived on wellfair,i could have went to a good school,got a free ride to college with a 2.0 gpa,and a good affirmative action job when i got out.

RE: I was never rich growin

First of all, your dad doesn't know anything about hard work. I get so sick of hearing it. I don't know what hard work is. History would tell us that none of us living in these days know anything about hard work.

Secondly, while you are evaluating what benefits would be received by Nunu, you should also she what advantages Peggy Sue, Sally Mae and Carol Ann might receive as well from their welfare beneftis.

This redistricting will not

This redistricting will not affect my children for a few years and I am sure there will be another redistricting by then. However after reviewing the suggested maps I can not see how option 2C is a neighborhood school option. 2B would be the better neighborhood school option. I live within the one mile radius for Roland Gries, but with the current districts and option 2C my children would be sent to Williston. Knowing what I know, I would perfer my children go to Williston right now rather then RG, but for economic purposes it makes much more sense for my kids to go to RG because they would not need to be bused anywhere.

40 and went to Williston

I lived towards Monkey Junction at the 17th street extension area. I was one street over from the Roland Grise school, but instead had to be bussed to 10th st at Williston in the early 80s. It was dangerous then, much less now. The school also had part of Wrightsville Beach bussed there as well back then. They have always had screwed up bussing here in Wilmington and it will never stop. Williston didn't hurt me as far as education but it was because my parents cared. Talk to teachers and you will see what they see from the parents of children. It's not just our black children either, although it is more percentage wise. I live in Pine Valley now, my son will go to Myrtle Grove. Even the "good area schools" have MANY problems with drugs, sex and gangs. I'm going to sacrifice most extras, homeschool my child next year and get out of the government run schools. If you want to change something, sacrifice for your children. The government isn't going to get any better with the likes of the czars and crooked politicians, what gives you any indication the economy will either? It's going to get worse ppl, look at the writing on the wall. The least I am doing is tooting my horn, but complaining has never changed anything around here. If you want change, you must do it yourself. Self responsibility because we can't trust even our local gov, much less state and feds. When they took God out of schools, what more can you expect? Please grow up.

Neighborhood schools in

Neighborhood schools in Wilmington = segregation. Not just segregation of black and white but segregation of middle class blacks from lower class blacks. Many lower class black communities need to see the benefits of middle class black communities in order to see that they can have a better life. Taking away the one place that can have a positive influence on a childs life is WRONG!


its OK to send one of those middle class children downtown....the "right" should go to the parents/children who have bettered themselves...not those who are a bunch of LEACHES!

It all goes back to racism.

It all goes back to racism. If people don't get what they want, they yell racism. Right Mrs. Redenbaugh? I am so sick of using that as an out for everthing.No matter how the vote went it would have made someone made.Anybody that has to use racism is an idiot.There are going to be times people that you cannot get what you want.I was sent to Peabody and Dudley and should have went to Noble. I turned out fine,drug free and not a drunk.

Racial segregation is the

Racial segregation is the separation of different racial groups in daily life, such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a washroom, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home (Wikipedia)..hmmm see like the consensous thinks it racist but we should holler racism??

If these parents don’t

If these parents don’t want their children in these schools, get out of the ghetto. I’m not a parent yet but I know that I work and work hard to live in the neighborhood I do. When I have kids I will want them to go to a school that is in relation to the area of town I live in. It doesn’t have to do with white sheets and color of skin, the only person who can hold you down is you. Make a life better for you and your kids and we wouldn’t have these problems.

You're an idiot....

My child is marked for Virgo next year. I do NOT live in the ghetto. As for making a better life for myself, my household income is well over 6 figures. When looking for a home, I based my decision on the schools assigned to the area and chose a home in the district with the highest test scores. Now, we're zoned in the one of the worst districts. All due to a lot of back door politics used to make last minute changes to an already unjust redistricting map. My daughter will go to private school next year. However, I will campaign aggressively to see that the jesters in charge of voting this ridiculous map in lose their seats in November. Any board member who honestly believes that the ratio of free/reduced lunch families in a school has no effect on quality of education is grossly unqualified for the position they hold.

I agree

This is the first comment that made sense was well written.

Thank you,