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The only people who like change, it has been said, are babies with wet diapers.
Such is the case with proposed changes to the Anderson County school system, as some parents and teachers are crying foul over the board of education's proposal to do what's right for all at the expense of a few and alleviate overcrowding at the middle school.
The only viable of two options is to convert Saffell Street Elementary School into a fifth- and sixth-grade campus and spread students in grades one through four to the two remaining elementary schools.
The other - spreading pupils over the three elementary campuses to balance the population at student-starved Robert B. Turner Elementary - accomplishes nothing except saving one teaching position there.
The arguments for keeping Saffell Street as is ring hollow when weighed against what's best for the system as a whole.
Yes, the school has a rich tradition of academic excellence and an array of wonderful teachers. It's hard to fault parents who want their children to be a part of that tradition.
What's sad is that, in some cases, their motives aren't quite so pure. While listening to some people's argument to maintain the status quo, it's impossible to miss the unspoken notion that the school is somehow for the county's elite; that some parents, under the guise of wanting what's best for their children, are also saying that they don't want their children being integrated with "county" kids.
Simply put, they don't want their children schooled with what they consider to be the county's rednecks, a small-minded attitude that has existed for years, including during the days of Western School.
What's nearly as detestable is the notion that teachers and administrators at Ward and Turner are somehow inferior, and will stymie Saffell students' progress. Hogwash. Not only do Ward and Turner often meet or beat Saffell in state and federal test scores, they also are home to an equally wonderful array of teachers who have no peers, including teachers from Saffell Street who, by the way, would move as teams with their students.
Self-serving and wrong-minded attitudes aside, the bottom line is that the proposed change is the most fiscally viable option on the table. Overcrowding at the middle school can be solved through the use of existing buildings. The alternative is to spend millions to build a bigger middle school, rather than thousands to make modest changes at Saffell to accommodate bigger kids.
And, if consolidating schools comes at the expense of a few transportation or other positions, so be it. The school board's mission is to educate children as well and efficiently as possible, not to provide jobs.
While under attack Dec. 10 from what figures to be an angry group of Saffell parents, here's hoping school board members do what they know is best for the whole and make the sound, responsible decisions they were elected to make.
If they do, we hope, too, that strict rules are created to handle the issue of where students will attend elementary schools in the future, with transfers or assignment requests approved by the school board, only if those rules apply.
While some latitude to keep student populations balanced in terms of socio-economic factors make sense, the idea that parents can lobby for their school of choice has to stop. Assigning students based on a loosely explained set of criteria and a so-called lottery system only serve to foster the notion that those who squeal the loudest get can dictate where their children go to school, or at least be the first to get their diapers changed.