MAULDIN, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Greenville County School District held a meeting Thursday evening to hear from parents and students regarding a potential rezoning.
GCSD releaased plans to a shift of students for the new Fountain Inn, Hillcrest and Mauldin High Schools. But this plan has not been received too well.
The issue causing so much concern is sending some students who would be zoned for Mauldin High to Hillcrest. The plan does not affect current students at the high schools. It would be for those who are currently in the 7th grade and below.
This proposal aims to reduce the student population at both Mauldin and Hillcrest high. Those are the most populated within GCS. MHS enrollment is around 2,300 the plan reduces that number to arounjd 1,850 students. HHS current enrollment is approximately 2,200 which the plan will reduce to 1,700.
Although Thursday evening meeting was to get feedback from the community, some parents didn't feel what they had to say was received.
"Not really sure if they were listening to us or they've already made up their mind," one parent said.
A community wide petition against the rezoning has gotten 220 signatures.
The tension was certainly felt in the meeting, which took place at Hillcrest Middle School. Parents and children spoke out against the rezoning.
However, the spokeswoman for GCS, Beth Brotherton feels otherwise.
"I didn't take away contention," she told us. "To me it was more passion."
Dozens showed up dressed in orange as a sign of solidarity. For many of them, attending MHS has become a tradition.
"My brother had a big influence on me, and one of the many factors of that is because he went to Mauldin High and I want to be just like him," a young boy said through the microphone.
School officials promise that students who have siblings that currently attend MHS will have the options to attend the same school as long as they are enrolled. However, if that older sibling graduates before they make it to high school, then that option is off the table.
"In that situation you'll need to follow what you're zoned for or else apply for school choice. We have 16% of kids in our district on school choice, " Brotherton said.
Also, if the younger child decides to attend MHS with the older sibling school transportation would be offered until the eldest graduates.
One parent took to the mic with a concern that many in the room agreed with.
"It looks like on the map [you're] sort of kicking out students who have been zoned to Mauldin High for years in an effort to allow news communities in."
"From my door step, Mauldin is 3.6 miles," said Heather Johnson. "From my door step to Hillcrest is 7.9 miles."
For many of these families, Mauldin is embedded into the roots of their lives. This change, to them, feels like a lost for their community.
A vote on the proposal is expected sometime in October. However, that is subject to change.
For those parents who missed this meeting will have another chance to voice their concerns at the meeting which will be Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at Rudolph Gordon School. Start time is 6:30 p.m.