Parents Rally Against Cabarrus Co. Middle School Realignment

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. – A group of parents in Cabarrus County is rallying to prevent their children from being reassigned to a new middle school.

Thousands of students will be impacted by the changes, which are being driven by the construction of a new middle school.

Some parents say the realignment could double or triple their commute.

“Our families want to stay together in our local community,” explains parent Catherine Parrish.

She rallied with dozens of other parents and students outside the Cabarrus County School Board meeting on Monday night.

They’re protesting plans to reassign students from Harris Road Middle School to Winkler Middle School, nearly eight miles away on the other side of I-85.

“It’s going to take us 45 minutes to get to a school, when the closest one is 15 minutes away,” Parrish says.

The changes are being made because of a new middle school being built on Roberta Road that’s set to open in 2022.

Parents rallying say both options the district is considering, the blue plan and the yellow plan, move their kids.

They’re proposing an option they call “green plus,” which they say better prepares the district for future growth.

Families also say they made a significant investment in buying a home based on school assignment.

“That research included, the first priority, is good schools for our kids. And that comes with a premium, so we paid that premium,” says parent Hema Koneni.

“You know, I might as well go to downtown. There are some very good private schools that are there,” says parent Siva Tu.

But most of all, parents say they’re worried about their kids’ emotional well-being and don’t want them split up.

“You’ve been, like, friends forever, you might not be friends ever again, and it’s really hard to fix a friendship that’s already been broken,” explains student Lila Escobar.