After a five-hour meeting Thursday, the Unified School Board decideD to close siX Memphis elementary and middle schools.
The schools that will be closed are Coro Lake Elementary, White Chapel Elementary, Orleans Elementary, Norris Elementary, Gordon Elementary, and Humes Middle School.
The Transition Planning Committee recommended to close 21 schools initially, but the board went through with closing only six.
Most of the schools are in Southwest Memphis, and two in Northwest Memphis.
The large debate surrounded the last two schools - Gordon Elementary and Humes Middle. Dr. Kriner Cash recommended closing Humes Middle and reopen it as a magnet arts program. The Humes Middle students would move into Gordon Elementary, but Gordon students would be split up into two schools in the area.
Several students and parents voiced their opinion against the closure of Gordon Elementary, saying Gordon is the heart and soul of their neighborhood.
"We have a lot of special needs students at our school," Lasonya Collins, a Gordon Elementary parent told FOX13 News. "What are they going to do with this? Just put them somewhere? This is an inconvenience. What are they going to do with them? Bus them somewhere? This is our neighborhood."
The school board will have at least two public meetings for the community to voice their opinion before they take another vote in February or March 2013 on the closing of the six schools.
FOX13 News reporter Bofta Yimam contributed to this report
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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