FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — After months of deliberation, public feedback and a potential lawsuit, the Forsyth County Board of Education approved its final redistricting map Nov. 14.
Chairwoman Kristin Morrissey cast the lone dissention vote.
Just a day before, a group called the Citizens for Common Sense including families from nearly a dozen Forsyth County neighborhoods joined together file an emergency injunction against the school district.
The group said “not only has the BOE and district staff mostly disregarded community input, they have failed to adhere to the openness standards required by Georgia Law.”
They went on to say the redistricting process:
• Should be performed by a third party to eliminate conflicts of interest.
• Should consider proximity, transportation and safety.
• Was conducted by staff and the Board of Education with disregard for transparency in the early rounds before arriving at a map they were “basically unwilling to change.”
Since starting the process in August, the district has held presentations, public forum meetings and has asked for public feedback in a survey that garnered more than 4,200 responses, according to Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo.
“This does not include the email and phone calls we have received from the public with their input,” she said. “We have kept the public informed by posting information at the website above, as well as on district and school social media, websites, newsletters and in the local media. Our BOE meetings are also taped. The link is on the redistricting page and also on the home page of our website.”
The redistricting process was launched in anticipation of the opening of Denmark High School in August 2018 and to address overcrowding at Lambert High School, South Forsyth High School and West Forsyth High School.
Many in the community have objected to the redistricting map, especially those who live close to schools their children will be forced to vacate.
Board member Ann Crow said this has been a difficult decision for the board.
“We have listened, read, gotten phone calls and considered questions that were brought to our attention,” Crow said. “We talked to the staff about it. I feel comfortable with the map as it is presented.”
Morrissey said the district entered the process hoping for the best resolution but realizing it would be difficult to achieve.
“Finding a balance between reaching the right number of students at Denmark and also reducing overcrowding at our existing schools to some appropriate level has been very hard,” she said. “As a board we need to ensure quality and equity at each of our schools. But we also must realize the reality is we are dealing with real students and not just numbers on a map.”
Morrissey said they have heard the feedback, and the board has tried to reply to as many as they could, but it was hard to keep up.
“The parents who spoke in opposition are advocating for their students and trying to keep their day-to-day lives functioning,” Morrissey said. “Our schools are a big part of our community and changing our schools should be done with compassion. I wish everybody would look at both sides and appreciate each other’s concerns.”
To learn more about the process, visit .