Liberty Schools change open enrollment policy to avoid ‘segregation’

Local News

Liberty Local School District said it’s taking a stand against what it calls “aggressive open enrollment practices” of students leaving for Girard City Schools.

School officials in Liberty said, statistically speaking, the students leaving their district and going to Girard is creating a racial imbalance in Liberty.

“If we continue to allow this, then, in essence, we would be in support of segregation. So we’re taking a stand,” said Liberty Superintendent Joseph Nohra.

He said each year, the district loses about 250 kids to open enrollment — 100 of which attend Girard.

“We believe, at this point, when upwards of over 90 percent of those students are non-minority students, that we believe, at this point, that it’s creating a racial imbalance in our school district.”

It’s this reason — along with a revenue loss of about $610,000 each year because of the large number of Liberty natives enrolling in Girard — that the board of education is taking action.

The board passed a resolution saying that Liberty will not grant open enrollment consent to Caucasian Liberty natives who want to enroll in Girard:

WHEREAS, the Liberty Local School District is objecting to the aggressive open enrollment of students to the Girard City Schools;

WHEREAS, the Liberty Local School Board strongly believes in the successful preparation of all of its students for the future and that its schools are an excellent resource for its families;

WHEREAS, the Liberty Local School District has networked, met, and attempted various communication with the Girard City School District Administration and Board of Education to express its concern with the aggressive tactics and aggressive pursuit of its native Caucasian students;

WHEREAS, the Liberty Local School Board has communicated to the Girard City School Board and Administration that the open enrollment practices have led to a very large percentage of its student body enrolling in Girard with the result of millions of dollars in lost revenue to the Liberty Local Schools in recent history;

WHEREAS, per the Ohio Revised Code 3313.98, the open enrollment policies of Girard City Schools have caused an inappropriate racial imbalance in the Liberty Schools; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Liberty Local School District will no longer grant open enrollment consent for native Caucasian students to the Girard City School District.

WHEREAS, when the racial balances become proportional, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Liberty Local School District will reconsider granting open enrollment consent for native Caucasian students to the Girard City School District.”

“For the school up north that wants to present a case as to this, it’s just mind-boggling right now,” said Girard Superintendent David Cappuzzello.

He said students want to enroll in Girard Schools because of the classes and extracurriculars his district has to offer.

“You’re losing 250 students from a district, he’s claiming we take 100. Where’s the other 150 going? And then why are you losing 250 kids a year and what are you doing about it?”

Liberty’s school board is leaving the door open, though, saying it will reconsider open enrollment “when racial balances become proportional.”

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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