"We think by moving them into four different schools all over the county that they will be put at a further disadvantage” says Condra Ridley, who has both a senior and freshman at Harding High School.
"My major concern is making sure that these students receive the education that they need” says Ridley.
Her senior will graduate from Harding this year, but next year her freshman will have to go to another school.
This fall Harding will close. It will be turned into a magnet school and open back up in 2012. In the meantime Harding parents can choose which of the other four East Allen high schools they want their teens to attend.
"I’m not for the choice. I don't think there's a good choice for us” she says.
Harding is on its fifth year of academic probation. Ridley is afraid that students will fall through the cracks at other schools. She's also not too thrilled with the proposed busing system.
"They will have to get on buses earlier” says Ridley.
In the morning, students will be transported to Harding High. They'll then transfer to another bus to finally take them to their high school. Vice versa on the way home.
"They'll go into environments that are probably hostile” she says.
Ridley is also a member of parents for quality education. Back in October, the group filed complaints with the Indiana civil rights commission.
“We felt like the redesign plan was exemplifying racial discrimination in that it put the burden on all African American students there at Harding” says Ridley.
Rev. Michael Latham is part of the Indiana School Turnaround Community Action Team. The group is also fighting to stop the redesign plan.
"Slow it down. Let's get to the table” he says.
Latham says they've talked with the East Allen Schools Administration as well as the Indiana Department of Education. He says they plan to talk with the State Superintendent later this week.
“Let's begin to talk about what it is that really needs to be done” says Latham.