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Northeast Edmond parents upset over school redistricting plans

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OKLAHOMA - Summer Johnson is one of hundreds of parents who have signed the online petition – Stop EPS Realignment of northeast Edmond.

“This affects my family,” Johnson said.

Johnson has kids at Centennial Elementary.

Representatives of that school were not at the first two redistricting meetings, because the realignment was not supposed to affect them.

“We have not had a place at that table until the last day that the proposal is going to be finalized," Johnson said. "How is that fair?”

The redistricting committee had their third and possibly final meeting Wednesday afternoon.

They are redrawing the boundary lines for the schools because the new Edmond Middle School, Heartland, is opening next year.

Johnson said plans leaked from the committee show she could have a 30-minute drive from her N.E. Edmond neighborhood to take her kids to Central Middle School.

“This affects, negatively affects my child every single day when he is going to have a longer commute to a school in the middle of Edmond when there is a school that is closer,” Johnson said.

Edmond superintendent, Bret Towne, said some plans had to change as the committee got deeper into their decisions.

“We really thought we could get away with only four or five elementaries in the original conversation, and they were invited from day one," Towne said. "These other schools just need to be invited now as a result of the committee’s work."

Towne said he expected backlash over the redistricting but that some has been excessive.

“Some of the emails that we’ve received have been over the top, threatening lawsuits and things like that,” Towne said.

Many N.E. Edmond parents said, if they have to file a lawsuit, they will, saying they feel their due process rights were violated.

“If the decision’s already been made and the public forums are just, you know, window dressing, to me, then that’s not a good sign for the city,” said Ricky Pearce, who also has a child at Centennial.

 If the redistricting committee makes a decision on Wednesday, the results could be made public before the weekend.

The first public forum on the topic is set for February 11th.

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