GRACEVILLE, Fla. (WMBB) — Many Graceville School students and their parents are worried the school might shut down after this school year.
“It seems that way because you have students leaving left and right transferring,” Graceville student Connor Dillard said.
Parents of Graceville students said they feel in the dark and they have for years now.
“I’m tired of him coming home every year with ‘they just got rid of my coach’ or ‘this has changed’ or ‘that has changed.’ There’s no consistency,” Kenya Merritt, a parent of a Graceville student said.
Merritt believes the administrative changes are the root of why so many students have left the school.
“Graceville has had probably seven different administrators,” Jackson County School Board Superintendent Steve Benton said.
The current administration recently let go of the head football coach.
“He was the glue to the school. He was holding our sports together,” Merritt said. “He was holding kids accountable for their actions. He was such a mentor to people, you know, I don’t get it.”
Benton said there has been a steady decline in students over the past four years.
They currently only have 16 juniors at the school.
Connor Dillard is one of them. When we asked if he was thinking about leaving, he said yes.
Graceville has had to cut electives and it can barely fill sports teams.
“JV players had to play Varsity and they just got beat up physically and it was just pitiful,” Benton said.
Benton said they need more students to enroll.
He said Graceville could shut down if they can’t get their numbers up.
“That would be something we have to look at this time next year,” Benton said.
He said it’s possible they turn Graceville K-12 into a K-5 or a K-8.