REDFIELD, AR – The White Hall school board voted Tuesday night to close Redfield Middle School. Next fall, the students will attend White Hall Middle School, 13 miles down the road.
Parents picking up their children from Redfield Middle School were disheartened by the board’s decision to shut their school down.
“They’re going to be forced to go to a school so far away. I drop him off and pick him up, how am I supposed to that when it is 30 minutes away,” asks Catrina King.
Parents say the school is the heart of the Redfield community and those who have been fighting to keep it open says its closure will have devastating impacts on the down.
“The people might be moving out because they lost a school,” says William Bradshaw. King agrees. “I don’t see people moving here knowing their kids will have to go to a school 30 minutes away.”
Superintendent Larry Smith says the decision to close the school was a financial one. With declining enrollment and the aging facility, the district cannot afford to keep it open.
But the Redfield community is not ready to give up.
"Now we can pursue something legally to get our own school back," says Rich Croy.
“Were not going to stand for it, we are going to the state, we are going to appeal it as far as we have to,” said Linda Banks, a member of the task force created to keep Redfield open.
According to the Arkansas Department of Education, Redfield Middle School is meeting and achieving academic benchmarks, while neighboring White Hall schools need improvement.
“This is a learning environment and students are happy, they’re socially okay, their safe,” says Banks. “Why do we want to disrupt something that is succeeding?”