The Keystone Committee has filed a complaint for injunctive relief, to overturn the Switzerland of Ohio Board of Education’s decision to close Beallsville High School.
They say, first of all, that the board violated the state’s open meetings law.
“So from a procedural standpoint, we think there’s a problem.” said Michael Shaheen. attorney for The Keystone Committee.
They want the judge to declare that it violated Ohio law.
And then they want her to stop them from carrying out the decision they made in that meeting–closing Beallsville High School.
They say it’s not in the best interest of the people.
“Certainly problematic, and more the brain child of a certain few who kind of made this their agenda rather than taking into consideration the common good for the people of the area,” Shaheen noted.
Local residents who graduated from Beallsville are pleased to learn the board of education may not get their way.
“I’m very happy to hear there is a group fighting for it,” says Brandon Heath of Newcastle. “When I heard it was being shut down, I was very upset, because I went there and that’s the school that I love.”
“I hope the judge does overturn it, and rules in our favor and saves the school for us,” says Gage Steele of Beallsville, also a graduate.
“Well, first of all, the high school’s three years old,” says Shaheen. “It’s far and away the best high school–physical structure–in the district. There’s going to be kids, small kids, going a long distance and going right past a brand new school. So that doesn’t make much sense.”
Shaheen says for the board to claim fiscal hardship when they’re located in the middle of a huge gas and oil drilling boom is strange.
“So all those tax dollars, all that revenue is there,” he said. “Yet they don’t even get a school in that area. It doesn’t seem logical.”
Plus there is a strong sense of community there and the Beallsville Blue Devils are an inseparable part of it.
“I would like to see my kids go to Beallsville High School one day,” said Gage Steele. “It’s a great school, and a really great community.”