Supporters of Marshall Middle School rally against closure - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Supporters of Marshall Middle School rally against proposed closure

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Parents and community leaders want the Muscogee County Interim Superintendent to reconsider his plan to close Marshall Middle School.

 The oldest middle school in Columbus is on the chopping block and in danger of becoming the next casualty to decreased funding  in Muscogee County.  Sunday they celebrated 55 years since the original establishment of Shadrack Marshall, named after a famed Columbus educator.

 Advocates argue Marshall provides a service that can't be replaced.

"These teachers understand the cultural background that these kids come from, whether they're black white or Hispanic," said Tiffani Stacy. "They understand the immediate needs, and they know how to tackle it.  I am just concerned that low-income working parents never get the opportunity to speak up like they should, because nobody wants to meet them on their level."

 Students from Marshall's Saturday school listened to speakers describe the merits of keeping the tradition alive.

"There is much history here, and should we close it, we are closing the door on the history," said Rev. Albert Sanders.

"This school means a lot to me because Dr. Forte has done a lot to change this school.  I'm in a lot of activities, and I think they shouldn't close it and throw away everything that he's done."

"This coming Tuesday and Wednesday, public hearings will be held in the cafeteria of Marshall Middle School before the School Board votes on the issue," said student Aziaza Smith.

"We're going to be talking about the way that this process has been initiated.  We've got two weeks notice before a decision is going to be made.  We want to ask the school board to wait before making a decision to close this school," said Rev. Richard Jessie.

 The outspoken opponents of the change argue closing Marshall would be a disservice to the under privileged students who depend on the small class-sizes and extra-curricular they can't get anywhere else.

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