Liberty School Board fights to keep white students from enrollin - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Liberty School Board fights to keep white students from enrolling at Girard

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LIBERTY TWP, Ohio -

Liberty Schools leaders are taking an aggressive approach towards keeping students enrolled in their district.

The school board voted Monday to no longer grant open enrollment consent to Caucasian students who want to leave and attend school in neighboring Girard.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, a district can object to the enrollment of a student into another district in order to maintain an appropriate racial balance. 

Each year, according to Liberty Superintendent Joe Nohra, 250 students are leaving the Liberty School District for open enrollment elsewhere. He said, of those 250 students 100 are going to Girard, and of those, 94% are Caucasian.

"We're objecting to the tuition that follows them, they certainly can go tuition-free," said Nohra.

According to Nohra, for every student that leaves the Liberty School District, $6,100 go with them. But according to the Ohio Revised Code, if a district like Liberty objects on the grounds of racial imbalance then a district like Girard, cannot receive that money.

"It's too aggressive. One hundred students per year is too much especially when they're 94% Caucasian. It's creating segregation in our school district and we don't believe it's right," said Nohra.

Liberty School Board unanimously approved a resolution Monday night objecting to what they call 'the aggressive open enrollment of student's to Girard and 'will no longer grant open enrollment consent for native Caucasian students to that district.

"We have a first-class district in Liberty, their (Girard's) response to us was step up your game. We have stepped up our game and we were insulted by that. Our teachers work very hard here," said Nohra in regards to a previous meeting he said Liberty had with Girard School officials.

In response to the action taken by Liberty, Girard School Board President Mark Zuppo said "shame on them" for bringing up race. He said Girard is an open enrollment district and can not discriminate on who they accept, and from which schools they accept those students.

When asked if there is any indication of why Caucasian students are leaving for Girard, Liberty's superintendent said, "No but we can only imagine why. So it leaves us to imagine things we don't want to and things we don't want to recognize."

Liberty Schools are also considering legal action to recoup more than $12,000 school officials claim the district lost over a student who opens enrolled into Girard. Although Liberty school officials said the student no longer lived in Liberty. 

The Girard School Board President has said that if Girard has done anything to receive money they should not have received, they will be happy to repay it. However, they've been advised they have done nothing wrong.
 

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