CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- What is the definition of capacity?
That was the question asked at the Kanawha County Board of Education Monday, where board members disagreed about whether children of teachers should be allowed to attend the school where their parents work if that school is full.
Superintendent Ron Duerring has already sent letters to about 20 out-of-area students who requested to transfer to George Washington High, but now two teachers at the school are asking that their children be able to attend the long-overcrowded but high-achieving school.
School board members recently put their foot down after dealing with years of congestion in the South Hills-area schools, which have some of the highest test scores in the state. Last month, the school board announced that GW is closed to transfer students due to program capacity -- the second year in a row it has had to implement a moratorium on transfers.
"We have denied 20 people in Kanawha County -- some with real hardships. There is no way I am going to vote to overturn the policy of this board. I think if we do that we're setting a terrible example," said board President Pete Thaw, who has long supported allowing students to attend the school of their choice, regardless of the district they live in.
"You've got two classes of people here: some that can and some that can't. I'm not going to say only a select few are allowed."
School board member Becky Jordon, who lives in the South Hills area and had children attend GW, was outraged by the thought of not allowing teachers' children to attend the same school as their parents and accused the board of micromanaging one high school.
"I'm tired of GW being singled out, and now it's the only high school that can't do something nice for our staff. I hope we close all of the high schools in this county to transfers and don't let anyone go out of district. Go where you live," she said. "There are two kinds of rules in this county: the GW rules and the other high school rules. Quit it."