On Keplar Elementary, Economies of Scale, and the Hard Sell

As soon as word got out that the district was eyeing two schools for closure, folks from the Keplar community started gearing up for battle. Petitions were created, Facebook groups formed, and public outrage incited.  A community meeting has been scheduled for Monday, and Mrs. Patti is already on the agenda for the BOE meeting later in the week (December 3 @ the Charles Fuller Board Room & Training Center at 6PM.)  Although closure discussions will not resume until January, I’d imagine scores of parents will be in attendance to voice concerns now, and those, who don’t speak, will support the cause by putting the stank-eye on Director Starnes, who’ll be expecting as much.

I mean no one thought Keplar would take the news lying down.  That’s not how they roll.

Unlike other small rural communities, who may lack political clout and be virtually powerless against such actions, Keplar folks have always had access to a large network of supporters, a knack for organizing on short notice, and a simple willingness to raise all sorts of hell.  As I recall, last time the district made noise about shutting the school down, it was Momma-n-em who mobilized a hoard of angry matrons and marched over to Rogersville in an ominous cloud of Virginia Slim cigarette smoke – 50+ of them, all full of piss and vinegar – pitchforks raised and torches burning.  Okay, it may not have happened exactly like that, but the reality was closer than you’d think – and I’m nearly certain Aunt Bert did threaten to slap the Superintendent of Schools plumb into next Sunday, then slap him again right before Church, so she could ask the Lord for forgiveness on both sins all at once.

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