Going around town isn’t always easy and I feel like school rezoning meetings have taken over my life. I ventured to Holston Middle School to listen in and I would imagine there might have been 100 people in attendance. The meetings are beginning to run together in my mind. In fact, there are a number of people who are at every meeting and oddly, those are the same people quoted in virtually every news story covered by local media. What puzzles me is that it seems every rezoning meeting, and the meeting at Holston Middle School was the fifth of six meetings, is a show place for folks who don’t live in the immediate community. Supposedly, these meetings are to get the thoughts of the people living in the individual communities. Whether the meeting was at Hardin Valley (far northwest Knox County), Farragut (far west), South-Doyle (south Knox County) or Holston, the open microphone was always occupied by the same people traveling from meeting to meeting.
Folks say they want their children to attend the school closest to them and the emphasis is on community schools, which I think is probably a very good thing. People say they don’t want their children bused to other schools. Some folks with their hair on fire cry their children are in danger of being sent to some school far distant from home. Yet in every instance Superintendent Buzz Thomas or other high-ranking school officials have told parents there is NO rezoning map drawn as of yet. Pen has yet to be put to paper, but that seems to have been all but ignored in the hysteria on the part of some who cannot cite any real information for concern. Ironically, many of the parents seem to have gotten into their heads their children might be bused off to the new Gibbs Middle School. What is particularly ironic about that is the kids in Gibbs have had the second longest bus ride in Knox County (the longest is for children in South Knox) for more than two decades. Sad to say, the irony is lost on a great many folks.