A good decision

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e would like to offer our congratulations to the Bedford County School Board for their decision concerning Bedford Middle School. It was a wise decision.
    The school board was contemplating moving all the sixth graders in the Liberty Attendance Zone to Bedford Middle School. The sixth grade is supposed to be in a middle school, and this is the situation in the county's other two attendance zones. In the Liberty Zone, however, the sixth grade classes remain at their base elementary schools. Only the sixth grade from Bedford Elementary School are at Bedford Middle. The reason for this is the lack of space.
    We understand why it's important to get all sixth graders into a middle school so that they will get the full middle school experience. Being jammed into an overcrowded facility, however, should not be part of that middle school experience. The fact remains that Bedford Middle School does not have the space for them and this means that the school division would have had to bring in mobile classrooms to accommodate those extra students. Paying for mobile classrooms would have been a great waste of public money as the school board expects to have a brand new middle school open in the Liberty Zone in 2016. This money can be better spent on other school needs rather than a stop-gap measure when the real solution to the problem is just a few years away.
    None of the speakers who spoke at a public hearing on the matter supported shoe-horning more students into the old facility. While hauling the trailers in would provide classroom space, they would not have solved the problem the school's cafeteria poses. It's too small for the number of students already there — speakers said that some kids eat lunch as early as 10:30 a.m. — and stuffing more students into the school would have made a bad situation even worse.
    Prior to the vote, school board members took note of the fact that not a single speaker favored the idea. They were all in opposition.
    We were pleased to see school board members listen to the public, and listen to reasonable arguments against something that was clearly a bad idea.
    Now, the school board needs to get that new middle school built and open.