Friday, 13 December 2019 13:40

LETTER: Why was Fairview Heights sacrificed for Ninth Grade Academy?

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To the editor:

Questions to ask the former Richmond County Schools Superintendent (Dr. George) Norris and his School Board members regarding their infamous decision to establish the Ninth Grade Academy at the expense of the youngest children in Richmond County:

Why did you think it smart:

1. Putting active teenagers in a school facility designed for little children — making a Ninth Grade Academy for active teens out of a primary school built for little children and spending huge amounts of money to do so and still not increasing the size of the building?

2. Destroying a perfectly good gym at Fairview Heights Elementary to make classroom space to accommodate the repercussions of the infamous Ninth Grade Academy decision by Mr. Norris and his board ... and not furnishing Fairview Heights with a replacement building of some sort for the gym you destroyed?

Can't but wonder if the Ninth Grade Academy was established primarily to provide ninth-grade football players better access to Richmond Senior High football facilities. After all, the no-secret purpose of the "one high school in the county" was to have the "best football team in North Carolina" — remember that? A former football coach was superintendent at the time, in case you have forgotten.

Students at Fairview Heights have been deprived of a physical education facility since the Ninth Grade Academy was established and, obviously, because it was established. There is hope that the present administration will make Fairview Heights whole again after many years being ignored. Fairview Heights needs to be the top priority of a Board budget and be specifically for a gym facility, even if they don't have a football team. 

Bob Weatherly,