Students say overcrowding at U.S. Grant making it hard to get to class

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Students at U.S. Grant High School are complaining that crowded halls have gotten so bad, it makes it nearly impossible to get to class on time.

A photograph circulating online allegedly shows the crowds students contend with.  Junior Luis Moore said it's accurate.

"You can't really walk when you get to class. It's going to take more than five minutes to get to class. It's going to take, like, seven or eight. And especially if you have to use the restroom, you aren't going to get there on time if you have to walk like this," he said demonstrating a shuffle they're forced into.

He said he's gotten hit with a tardy slip before because of the crowding.

"I try to run because the last minutes, it empties out. So, I try to run and get there on time," he said.

Junior Karen Rodriguez said the five minutes to get to class is nearly impossible.

"A lot of people are sometimes late because they either stop to go to the bathroom, or stop to tie their shoe, or something, and that took up at least a minute," she said.

Former U.S. Grant teacher turned state representative Mickey Dollens said the photograph is not as bad as it looks.

"This picture was taken in the morning when the kids are kept in the front of the school, and then released for class all at the same time," Dollens said.

He insists the crowds go down throughout the rest of the day, and that if students are tardy, there's probably a reason.

"Kids sometimes do what kids do and mess around in the halls," Dollens said. "I think if kids plan accordingly, they can get to class on time."

In a statement, an Oklahoma City Public Schools spokesperson said the school is safe, and that it's more of a traffic control problem than an overcrowding problem.

The statement said, "The district is also working through a demographic study to make recommendations to the board about redistricting and long-term facilities planning later this year."

Current enrollment is more than 1,900 students, and projected enrollment for the year is 1,885.

Dollens said overcrowding is a problem and needs to be addressed by the state.

"One thing we need in south Oklahoma City is a new high school," he said.