Parents Prepared to Fight for New Hampstead High - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Parents Prepared to Fight for New Hampstead High

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SAVANNAH, GA -

For many of us, where we choose to live has a lot to do with where our children will go to school.

School over-crowding is a problem in many parts of Chatham County, but for some west Chatham parents, a bad situation just got worse-- and years of education could suffer for it.

It's Savannah-Chatham's newest school, and in just a year, New Hampstead High is about to face a major hurdle---overcrowding.

To try to solve overcrowding at Godley Station K- 8, the school board voted to temporarily move Godley eighth graders to the new high school while port Wentworth is being built.

Dean Kicklighter is not only a Chatham County Commissioner; he is also a parent of a high schooler at New Hampstead. He says parents were kept in the dark, and the move presents more problems than just crowded classrooms.

"I'm worried about 13 year olds coming in contact with 18 and 19 year old male and female adults."

Board employees say the eighth graders will have their own bell schedule, administration, even their own section of the school.

"The projections for next year for New Hampstead High School indicate that the whole school was not needed, and we could use the bottom floor of the empty wing and house our students there, very separately."

But the parents of the high school students aren't buying it.

"All you need is for an eighth grade girl to get a compliment from a high school senior, and then she says she is going to the nurse the same time he says he is going to the bathroom."

For Kicklighter, this would be a non-issue if the board had kept to their word before the school was built, and it's just another example of the district trying to right a wrong.

"The board of education has lied to the west Chatham residents one too many times now. They lied about the ESPLOST when they built this big beautiful school. Signs were out there saying we would have a Pooler high school. After the approval, they took the school and built is it out here in the middle of nowhere and redistricted kids from the Southside that never dreamed they would come here!"

Now, Kicklighter has a message for those in charge.

"Don't be dictators Board of Education, do what's right for the kids, or I will lead the charge against west Chatham ever approving another ESPLOST."

The move is scheduled to take place next school year, and about 160 students will transfer over in the first year.

Over a 3-year period, close to 500 hundred students will call New Hampstead home.

Once the new Port Wentworth High School is built, those students will have the option to transfer, if they choose to.

We're told Groves High was not an option because of its current review for low graduation numbers.

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