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High school re-zoning

Is there anything more important to parents than the education of our children?

As a father of two middle school students, I feel it is my duty to provide my children with a safe environment in which they will thrive both socially and scholastically.

As a community it is our responsibility to challenge those decision makers and pose questions that make them think through with extreme forethought each decision that affects our children.

The situation before us with rezoning of our school brings such an issue to the forefront of not only Farragut, but our surrounding sister communities as well. Everyone agrees that our schools are overcrowded and a new school is eminent. The real question becomes which areas make the most logical sense in regards to travel time, geographical location, and routes that ensure the safety of our most valuable asset, our children?

The Knox County Board of Education is diligently working to move approximately fifteen hundred students from Farragut, Bearden and Karns to the new high school in Harden Valley. They have listened without bias to each community’s concerns, and I appreciate that they are exploring many scenarios in hopes of finding the most positive resolution. I do, however, question if some of the options that are on the table truly make the most sense, or is there more that needs to consider before making their final decision is made in early December.

As a community we need to not only voice our concerns about the current proposals, but also assist them in looking at options that are the most viable as it relates to the safety and well being of all students. The current proposals leave much debate as to how safe many of the proposed routes will be, and if several of the current proposals are put into effect, we will have traded the problem of overcrowded school for one that could arguably be more serious. The safety of our children is an issue that cannot be ignored as we look at the rezoning issue.

My hope with this editorial is to make those in the areas affected aware of the current proposals, and ask that you get involved. If you live in a neighborhood that may be affected, are you aware of it? Is your homeowners association going to be represented at the next school board meeting? Do you know that if you live in Fox Den, Hickory Woods, Andover Place, Camden Grove, Fox Run, Saddle Ridge, Sedgefield, Orchid Grove, Old Stage Hills, Steeplechase, Reserve of Farragut, Rockwell Farms, Fort West, Wentworth, Vista, McFee Manor, Lakeside Estates or many neighborhoods in close proximity to these, that your are all being considered for the rezoning. All these neighborhoods that would be considered in the heart of Farragut could all be traveling past Farragut High School, or even worse, traveling over routes that are questionable as they relate to the safety of our children. My concern is that as many of you read this, it will be the first time you have been made aware of how greatly this will affect our entire community, and if you do not act immediately your voice will not be heard. The decision will be made in a few short weeks, and we are running out of time.

This is not just an issue for those of us with children nearing high school age, but one of each of us that has a vested interest in our community. We all appreciate the need for this new high school; we just need to make sure this is a decision that will be a positive one for all of our children both now, and in the future.


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