Superintendent Addresses Potential 'Turf War' with Merger

Superintendent Addresses Potential 'Turf War' with Merger

The interim superintendent is concerned about student safety versus saving a dollar when it comes to the decision of whether to close 11 Memphis schools.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The interim superintendent is concerned about student safety versus saving a dollar when it comes to the decision of whether to close 11 Memphis schools. Dorsey Hopson says closing Carver High School and transferring students to Booker T. Washington High School could lead to turf wars and gang fights.

Hopson says yes, gangs are an issue in schools, and yes, neighborhood turf wars are an issue. They're such an issue that the city of Chicago refused to close high schools for those two reasons. In Memphis it's not quite that bad - not yet.

For those who live the country club lifestyle it is impossible to understand. First, realize one thing. The majority of students in the city of Memphis might never be allowed to join a country club, let alone live that lifestyle.

"Many of our students live in very fragile situations. Very economically depressed situations and with that comes a lot of these societal ills, like gangs and violence, and drugs and things of that nature," Hopson noted.

The neighborhood surrounding Carver High School in south Memphis, the kids would call it their turf. The trouble is Booker T. Washington High School is also in south Memphis, which they consider their turf.

If you close Carver and move the students to BTW, some students are predicting trouble. Unified School Board members were warned of what might happen Tuesday night.

"If you combine Carver High School and BTW together, which is the plan, it will create more homicides in the city of Memphis then you've ever seen."

Dorsey Hopson says that might have been a bit too much, but basically what the board was told was the truth.

"I think he hit the nail on the head," Hopson said, "That's why I thought it was important to study this issue for a year before just moving."

Educational opportunities outweigh gangs, he says, but a lot of work still needs to be done.

"We have to make sure we have the resources, the security and things of that nature in the schools do de-escalate situations to make sure situations don't happen, and most importantly to provide a safe environment for all of our kids."

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus