Brevard County discusses school closures, firing coach

Published On: Nov 20 2012 11:43:46 AM EST
Updated On: Nov 20 2012 05:33:40 PM EST

Brevard County parents will find out what school board members are looking for when picking the schools they plan to shut down at a meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Brian Binggeli said at a meeting Nov. 9 the schools recommended for closure are Sea Park Elementary in Satellite Beach, Gardendale Elementary on Merritt Island, South Lake Elementary in Titusville and Clearlake Middle in Cocoa.

The closure of the schools would save $3 million.The proposed closures are a result of residents' voting down of a new 0.5-cent tax raise, as well as declining property values and rollbacks in tax rates that have meant less money going toward education. If the tax was approved, the district would have received $32 million to the district.

Meanwhile, parents protested the schools closing. Some parents tell Local 6 the reason they moved to their neighborhoods were to send their children to one of these schools.

"A lot of people moved to this area just to go to this school, now they're going to be forced to put their kids on buses, when they wanted to go to this specific school," said Angel Ottway.

Students echoed the same responses when asked about having to switch schools.

"I would probably be separated from a bunch of my friends, and I wouldn't like that because I really like the class I'm in now," said student Christian Holloway.

The school board will also decide on Tuesday night whether or not to fire Heritage High band director James Wilkins for alleged professional misconduct, according to Florida Today.

Binggeli has recommended the dismissal and the district alleges Wilkins made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature to students, permitted the use of ethnic nicknames for minority students and publicly humiliated students. Wilkins is currently suspended but still receiving a paycheck, Florida Today reports.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and is expected to run through the majority of the evening. Check back for more information.

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