Families upset after students denied Classen SAS transfer

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OKLAHOMA CITY - We first told you Wednesday about a group of students who had been accepted to a competitive fine arts school in Oklahoma City only to learn this week the school board had denied their transfer.

Board members said there were 48 students accepted and of those, only eight got their paperwork in on time.

Regardless, all 48 are now being denied.

Now some parents said they feel their children are being unfairly punished.

Emerald Mack, 13, has been working for two years to get into Oklahoma City's Classen School of Advanced Studies.

Debra Mack, an upset parent, said, "We worked all this year to build her points up. She got on the honor's orchestra, she's first violin."

Debra's daughter auditioned in January and got a letter of acceptance.

They did everything asked and then news came this week Emerald would not be allowed to transfer because of a decision by the school board.

Board Member Bob Hammack said, "The fault is really at Classen; they have people who know the policy they should have rigidly adhered to it."

Hammack said he feels bad for the students impacted but the rules need to be followed and sometimes policies change.

"The argument was made years ago about serving blacks at the counter," Hammack said. "There comes a time when policies are wrong and they need to be changed." Classen SAS front

However, Debra wishes the district would reconsider.

She said, "Put your foot down next year, not after the auditions have been done, not after the enrollment papers have been done and not after the transfer papers have been done."

"We are not going to wait a year, we aren't going to wait two years," Hammack said. "If we feel it's in the best interest of our students, that's what we are going to do."

As for Emerald, she said she is disappointed.

She and her mom are now considering moving just to make sure she can get the music education she had hoped to get by transferring to Classen SAS.

Debra said, "This is her dream and I will do whatever I have to do to fight for it."

Debra said she is also considering seeking legal advice to see what options she has regarding this situation.

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