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Parents think TCS worthy

Parents say that overall, Troy City Schools is worthy of unitary status.

Though some improvements could still be made.

Lanesa May, who has children in kindergarten and eighth-grade, said she doesn't have any complaints about the elementary or middle school.

&uot;Every time I have gone to the elementary or middle school, I've always received the help I have sought,&uot; she said.

&uot;I don't have any complaints.&uot;

She also feels her children have had a positive experience in the school system.

The United States Justice Department and the NAACP must agree with her because they filed a joint petition with the school system stating Troy City is ready for unitary status in five areas including student assignment/grouping, graduation rates including types of diplomas, extracurricular activities, discipline and complaints of racial harassment and/or discrimination.

Octavia Jones has similar feelings.

Jones has sent several children through the system and has a son who will graduate in May from Charles Henderson High School.

&uot;Overall, we have a good school system,&uot; she said.

Although she is relatively pleased with her children's education, she said some improvements could be made.

&uot;They need to train teachers to be more diverse,&uot; she said.

Apparently the Justice Department and the NAACP agree with her.

One of the areas they did not include on the petition is faculty assignment and hiring.

But improvements are still under way and Superintendent Hank Jones hopes the board will be able to file for unitary status in September 2004.

Already, the percentage of black teachers has jumped 7 percent from 15 percent in 1995-1996.

Sherry Starling has children in fifth-grade, third-grade and kindergarten and like Jones and May, she said Troy City Schools is a good system.

&uot;I think the entire faculty at Troy Elementary does an outstanding job,&uot; she said.

&uot;I have not seen them treat any student differently because they were a boy or a girl or because of race or anything.

They see each child as a child.&uot;

She also said if the school board achieves unitary status, it will only improve the students' education.

Starling works with therapeutic foster children and said that because the city board and Pike County Board of Education have to seek Justice Department approval, some problems take too long to solve.

She had a situation where she had to keep a child in the city system, but had to have transfer approval because he lived in the county.

&uot;I think both boards were willing to help, but their hands were tied,&uot; she said.

&uot;I think both our city and county boards are fair enough to abide by the laws without having to get permission first.&uot;