Parents Rally to Save Bedford Co. Elementary School
By Dave Walls
Bedford Co., VA - Parents who received a letter about the possible closure of Body Camp Elementary School Thursday night, rallied Friday in support of the school. The emotions are easy to spot amongst the parents and students of Body Camp Elementary School. "We were very shocked, stunned," said parent Penny Berger. "So when we got this letter, we were shocked and disgusted," continued parent Crystal Updike. Students at Body Camp Elementary were sent home with a letter on Thursday evening, which states that declining membership and operational costs played a large factor in the decision. "And, so this gave us really no time to start putting things together, to start getting together to say 'Why?' We didn't understand," said Updike. An efficiency study conducted by a private contractor listed Bedford Primary and Moneta Elementary Schools as the #1 recommendation for closure, a move that would save an estimated $8 million over the next five years. Although Body Camp has always been listed as a secondary option to close, parents like Penny Berger question the timing of the letter being sent, the day before the end of the school year. "It was very shocking, and very upsetting to all of our parents. And we had no time to plan anything. I mean, we felt this was done kind of sneaky, to be honest with you," Berger said. With the school year now over, parents like Jeff Givens are wondering what will happen with the school and their child's future. "If this school is closed, and my son is sent somewhere else, with a larger class size, where does he get left in the shuffle?" Givens asked. ABC 13 spoke to Ryan Edwards from Bedford County Schools Friday evening. Edwards says that the school board has not met since the efficiency report came out, and there is still a lot more discussion yet to be had before any decisions are made. The School Board will hold a public hearing at Staunton River High School on June 2.
WSET ABC 13 covers news, sports and weather in the Heart of Virginia: Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke and nearby communities including Amherst, Lexington, Cave Springs, Blacksburg, Martinsville, Farmville, North Shore, Glasgow, Altavista, Gretna, Chatham, Blairs, Bassett, Rocky Mt, Penhook, Moneta and Buena Vista