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Richmond School Board approves River City rezoning in 8-1 vote

River City Middle School 02.png
Posted at 10:47 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 05:48:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- After a long debate, the Richmond School Board has voted to rezone the students at River City Middle School.

The board agreed 8-1 in Monday night's vote. The decision comes after severe parent backlash after the board rejected the same move last week.

In Monday's meeting, teachers, staff and parents of River City Middle School made one last plea to school board members, asking them to reverse last week's decision.

"Teachers are tired, I'm tired. I am tired," one speaker said.

"But what I'd like to say about River City, I just feel unsafe and it's overcrowded. You can barely walk through the halls," another speaker said.

Several Richmond School Board members said that this has been a rough week where they have had their integrity questioned and even their safety threatened.

They said that their decision on Monday night came down to reasonable concerns that needed to be addressed before they felt confident to vote on the rezoning plan.

This new plan will move over 300 students out of River City Middle School and into Boushall, Brown, Binford Middle Schools.

Some school board members, who cited concerns over transportation and facility upgrades, said they feel reassured by school leaders that concerns are being addressed.

School board member Jonathan Young was the only member to vote down rezoning. He said the plan hurts open enrollment by significantly cutting spaces out of district students who want to attend Binford.

While several said they are relieved a decision was made on Monday night, they said more needs to be done to support a growing Southside community where poverty is prominent.

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