Parents push back on proposal to combine Nelson County middle and high schools

Bloomfield Middle School, Boston School, New Haven School and Old Kentucky Home Middle School would merge with the two high schools in the district.

NELSON COUNTY, Ky. — A new proposal would put middle school and high school students together in Nelson County.

The school district said it wants to create a seven-year experience for sixth graders to have focus on careers.

“I think it’s a bad decision. Why are we forcing our kids to grow up?” said parent Christy Brown. “I don’t think any young kid should have to be forced to go into that environment.”

Brown has a 17-year-old in Nelson County High School and an 11-year-old in Bloomfield Middle School. Under the proposal, Bloomfield, Boston School, New Haven School and Old Kentucky Home Middle School would merge with the two high schools in the district.

The school board said the merge will give middle school students more access to resources and programs that are not as available to them in their current buildings.

“They need to focus on studies as far as history, math, science, technology art the normal programs I had as I was growing up,” Brown said.

Students living on the west side of U.S. 31 would attend Thomas Nelson High School and students who live east of U.S. 31 would attend Nelson County High School. 

“Putting them with high schoolers — you’re mixing drugs, you’re mixing sex, those kids don’t need to be involved with yet including the job world,” said Michelle Hatfield, who has a seventh grader and a freshman in Thomas Nelson High School. “At this age kids are mean, they’re brutal.”

Hatfield’s kids are just as worried about what would happen if the proposal is approved.

“One of them she said ‘I hope not’ she said ‘because I don’t want to have to look out for my sister too and be a new kid,'” Hatfield said. 

If combined, each of the two high schools would have between 1200 to 1300 students. It’s unclear what would happen to the remaining buildings, but the district said most of the teachers would move with their students. 

The proposal is forcing Brown to make decisions for her youngest child’s future.

“My son is just going to stay where he’s at…a private school,” Brown said. 

The first school board meeting introducing the proposal was held Tuesday. Parents can share their thoughts and concerns online. Each school will hold its own meeting with parents until the next board meeting on May 18.

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