Pelican H.S. closure forces parents to scramble for alternative - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Pelican H.S. closure forces parents to scramble for alternative

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The Crawfords, parents of a Pelican student, have yet to figure out their next step. The Crawfords, parents of a Pelican student, have yet to figure out their next step.
Students react shortly after the March announcement. Students react shortly after the March announcement.
DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Parents of students at Pelican All Saints High School in DeSoto Parish say the school's closure has left them scrambling to find out what to do next.

Back in March, the DeSoto Parish School Board officials voted 7-4 to close the school. The exact date of the closure is unknown as the federal Justice Department reviews the issue.

But parents say the board acted too swiftly, and now their kids are the ones left suffering.

Emotions ran high just weeks ago when the board voted to close the school. For mother Tommie Crawford, they are still on high.

Crawford says her two kids were transferred out of Mansfield schools and placed at Pelican after they were bullied.

"It scares me because I do not want to put them back in that environment."

If the Justice Department approves the board's decision, then the 181 students from Pelican will be asked to transfer to a school in Mansfield.

The board says Pelican's closure will save the school district $1.6 million. Some board members say that amount is just a drop in the bucket compared with the $12 million in debt, contending that savings could have been found elsewhere.

But Board President Louis Mayweather says closing Pelican All Saints is not the only cut being made. He says other cuts are expected to be made to help deal with the school district's debt.

"Looks like we are gonna have to cut some employees and cut some positions out, and I hate cutting positions. But the biggest part of our money is in people," Mayweather says.

For Crawford, the school closure leaves her family up in the air.

"We haven't made our final decision, but they won't go back to Mansfield."

There is a planned town hall meeting for DeSoto Parish residents coming up to talk about this possible closure. That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on April 9 inside the Pelican All Saints gym.

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