Parents gather to protest zoning changes

HOUSTON They want to make sure all middle school children are attending Sartartia Middle School and they're trying to get the district to take notice. The district is faced with growing pains and now they must deicde who will attend a new middle school in the fall of 2011. Hundreds of parents and students from New Territory made it clear they want to stay put.

They chanted their message loudly Sunday, hoping the Fort Bend ISD school board will hear them.

"One of their guiding principles is they want to keep neighborhoods together," said parent Connie Chastain Parent. "Well we are asking the Fort Bend ISD just that, to keep this neighborhood together. Keep our neighborhood together."

Students and parents uniting hand in hand and in some cases, even on shoulders, with concerns over where their children may go to middle school.

"There's several concerns. One of the bigger ones is the safety aspect in taking students who can safely walk and bike to school and have to take them across the Grand Parkway and onld 90 across railroad tracks or flat out travel a further distance," said John Sturgis, Leader of New Territory Group.

Fort Bend ISD is faced with continuous growth in the district and must periodically rezone where students attend school to maintain balance. Among the plans being considered is a proposal to move some students from the New Territory subdivision to a new middle school, known as middle school 14.

"They are trying to fill a school that's being built, it's about 50 percent complete," said parent Debbie Fancher. "They are trying to fill it and I think they thought, well, we have so many kids here let's just move them there. But their reasoning behind it doesn't really make sense."

Parents say sending their kids to that new school breaks up the neighborhood and they claim it would send 500 students farther away than Sartartia Middle School, requiring a nine-mile bus ride.

"We're determined that logical things need to happen and this should be about the kids, what is best for the kids and this plan is not what's best for our kids," said parent Becky Zaffuta.

A rezoning workshop followed by a school board meeting that will be held Monday night.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.