Tuesday Night Forum, Should Dothan High and Northview Merge?

By: Alex Zequeira
By: Alex Zequeira

Tuesday night, an open forum was held at Dothan High School to discuss the potential merger. A plan to consolidate Dothan’s two high schools is getting some mixed reviews from parents.

No decision was reached Tuesday night meeting, whether to follow through with this plan to consolidate Dothan High and Northview High.

Parents with stakes in the matter, are torn on what they think is best.

"I think a lot of what was said this evening, really supports being against the consolidation, but they had some real excellent points," said Stephanie Paulding

That was the way several parents who attended an open forum to discuss plans to merge Dothan and Northview High, feel.

School officials in Dothan say the goal of consolidating the two schools is to improve student achievement and prepare students for the real world.

Dothan City School Board Chairman Dr. Steve Stokes said, "It's about trying to find curriculums that will interest them so that we can keep our drop out rates down, and so we can keep them involved."

The plan is to make Dothan High a ninth grade center and provide technical job training for 10th, 11th and 12th graders at the Northview High campus.

Some parents think this is a good idea.

"I think we have divided our resources long enough, and I think this is the only way that we can get it back to the way it needs to be... just bring everybody together," said Kadra Speed.

Randy Beckman said, "I think if you join the two schools, you can get the better of the two schools."

However others are not too fond of the plan. They're concerned about safety and about the sense of pride and rivalry that has been built up between both schools, over the years.

"How are you going to put two-thousand students together, we have three fights a day at Dothan High now. They can't control Dothan High... if you mix two-thousand together, what are we going to do. It's going to be 10 police, it's going to be metal detectors, it's going to turn into a military school," said Lydia Gainous.

"At Dothan High, Northview... there's a rivalry, and it's good for the kids, not only with the academics but with the sports," said Charity Smith.

School officials insist that if the schools are combined, safety will be as high of a priority as it is now at both campuses. Students will be safe and that they'll.

"We have resource officers on campus. We have a no fight policy. So fighting is not allowed," said Dr. Stokes.

They also add that by having the opportunity to enroll in technical job training programs students will learn the skills necessary to get jobs with our regions biggest employers.

School officials did not say what the new school would be called, or what mascot it would have. Instead they continue to stress that it is still only a plan and that it can still change.

Another open forum will be held at Northview High School this Thursday for parents to share their comments and concerns about the plan to consolidate both schools.


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