FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -- On Tuesday, the Forsyth County School Board approved the controversial high school redistricting plan by a vote of 4 to 1.
A statement from a ‘representative’ of citizens for common sense:
"We don’t think the Forsyth County BOE lived up to the spirit or the letter of the law regarding transparency of proceedings. The lawsuit remains pending and we still expect the BOE to comply with the law."
It was only Monday that families from nine Forsyth neighborhoods came together to file an emergency injunction. They are asking the Georgia Attorney General to investigate. Parents said they do not feel the process was open or transparent.
At the center of this dispute is a new high school. Denmark High School opens in August of 2018. Students attending South Forsyth, West Forsyth, and Lambert high schools are affected by the new redistricting map.
"We believe there's been a series of meetings that the county has conducted - the redistricting committee did not notify residents of," Chris Riley said. "And we believe those meetings have been conducted illegally and improperly."
The group of parents said they understand redistricting is going to happen but do not believe it was done properly and would like to see a third-party expert brought in to fix the problem.
"We understand that redistricting has got to occur," Riley said. "But we believe that there are kids that are closer to a new school that should that should primary candidates for redistricting as opposed to kids that are going to have to travel 400 percent further from their existing high school to a new school."
According to Forsyth County Schools, the redistricting committee meetings were administrative staff meetings and the committee wasn't appointed or approved by the board of education.
School officials said that the public was given the opportunity to comment on the plans and spokesperson Jennifer Caracciolo pointed out that more than 4,200 comments were submitted on an online forum between Sept. 13 and 27. She also said that public forums were held on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.
Caracciolo went on to point out that public comment on redistricting was provided during the public participation forums in the board of education monthly meetings.
"So, the public had 15 days to provide online feedback and 6 days to provide feedback at a meeting, for a total of 21 days to provide input since Aug. 8," Caracciolo said. "This does not include the email and phone calls we have received from the public with their input. We have kept the public informed by posting information at the website above, as well as on district and school social media, websites, newsletters and in the local media. Our BOE meetings are also taped; the link is on the redistricting page and also on the home page of our website."