Most small towns don’t have very large crowds turn out for city council and school board meetings. There are times when you can fire off a pistol and might get lucky and hit a reporter doing on the second row.
Times have changed. After The Progress noted in an Oct. 3 story the discussions at a White Hall School Board meeting, a Facebook page was established the same day with the headline – “Closing Redfield school on table.”
A message on the Facebook page was addressed to the Redfield community:
“There is talk about the closing of Redfield Middle School. We need to stand together and show the White Hall School District the impact it will cause!”
Tweets and text messages followed.
It was literally standing-room-only when the White Hall School Board met Oct. 9. The overflow filled the foyer of the district’s administration building.
The pleas not to close the school were impassioned. Its role in the community is crucial Redfield residents repeatedly told the board.
Every school in the district was discussed by the board Sept. 25 during a three-hour planning session. No votes were taken.
The White Hall district operates the middle school and Hardin Elementary School on separate campuses at Redfield. Enrollment at the Redfield Middle School, a WPA era building, has fallen, and the board might be asked to consider merging its classes into White Hall Middle School sometime in the future.
Now the Redfield patrons have organized and plan a community-wide meeting the evening of Oct. 23.
They are securing minutes of a recent Arkansas Board of Education meeting. The DeWitt School Board asked permission to close the elementary school at Gillett. The state board denied the request.
Things were much simpler when we could discuss problems over a backyard fence.