Amherst Co. Board of Supervisors Respond to Student Movement - WSET.com - ABC13

Amherst Co. Board of Supervisors Respond to Student Movement

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Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Steven Smith

Amherst Co., VA - Many Amherst County residents and students are sitting on pins and needles waiting for a final decision from the Board of Supervisors. But did Monday's student-led march make that much of an impact? Supervisors say they have some very difficult decisions to make, but the students comments did not fall upon deaf ears.

"I know that these programs may take a lot of time....funding and energy but the outcome is a lot better than the cost" a student said.

Supervisors say about 175 students, parents and staff showed up to Monday's budget public hearing. They say nearly 100 students spoke.

"Sometimes I feel so lost or stressed out that all I know to do is write a song or dance," another student said.

The majority of the pleas were to save non-core classes.

"They did a great job at getting up and just expressing their concerns and feelings," said Robert Curd, the vice chairman of the board. 

"I thought it was a beautiful opportunity for our students to take a stand in what they believed in," said Haywood Hand, Amherst County principal.

Hand said he could not be more proud.

"They handled themselves in such a diplomatic manner. They didn't step outside the bounds of attacking, they weren't in attack mode, they were more or less communicating their concerns," Hand said.

Supervisors appeared to be receptive.

"It was very special to me because these kids were obviously passionate about what they were talking about," Supervisor Claudia Tucker said.

"It's important to hear them speak and talk about how potential cuts, regardless of where they may be, how they feel that may impact their education," Curd said.

The board says they have limitations on what they can and cannot do.

"When you're making difficult decisions, you want to be as informed as possible," Curd said.

And they say Monday's movement left quite an impression.

"I haven't made a decision yet," Tucker said. "Theater and music and the arts are just as important as far as I'm concerned as history, geometry and everything else because we want to graduate a complete student."

The Board of Supervisors will hold their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, and people can again speak on budget issues. Supervisors say the board will vote next week on the current budget.

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