Residents in both Brownwood and Bangs have taken to the streets to gather signatures and monetary donations to try and save Brookesmith ISD. Brookesmith ISD could be closed due to substandard academic performance coupled with substandard achievement in financial rating.
The news spread quickly via social media and text messaging. Rumor has it that both computers in Brookesmith were having trouble connecting to the internet due to the backlog, and the only business in town, the U.S. Post Office was having trouble calculating postage.
When students in Brownwood and Bangs were told that they would have students from Brookesmith joining their schools, the students immediately began texting their parents for help. Jimmy Fowlone, parent of a Brownwood High School student said the news was both shocking and terrifying, “I hate for anyone to lose their school, but even more so, I’m terrified at their students joining ours. They’ll be so behind and almost certainly will hold ours back!”
Students within the honor societies of both Brownwood and Bangs began planning how they could help improve test scores at Brookesmith ISD. Brownwood High student Andrea Essecka shared the student’s plan, “the only way we think we can help them is by some of our smart kids transferring to Brookesmith. I mean, we could tutor them, but can they really be tutored?” Essecka went on to explain that no one wants to transfer to Brookesmith, so the kids were going to draw straws to see which ones would have to, “take one for the team to save Brownwood and Bangs.”
Meanwhile, residents were seen going door to door with coffee cans, empty cigarette cartons, and anything they could salvage to take up a collection to donate to the Brookesmith ISD fund balance. Fowlone said this is really more about saving Brownwood and Bangs than it is about saving Brookesmith, “you know, it’s nice to help them save their school, but I’m telling people we have to keep them open to save our own schools.”
Fowlone also pointed out that curriculum differences and transfer of credits are another point of concern. “We’re hearing that a sophomore in Brookesmith would be placed in the 8th grade in Brownwood. I don’t want some 19 year old boy in the same class with my 14 year old!”
Should the school close, Brookesmith residents are almost assured the town could perish. The school and the post office are the only reason the town seems to still exist. Area senior citizens have vowed to start using the post office in Brookesmith to give the town a fighting chance.
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