Dozens of parents meet to oppose elementary school closings

OREM, Utah - Hundreds of parents packed an auditorium in Orem Tuesday night. Many were upset at the Alpine School District's proposed plans to close two Orem elementary schools: Geneva and Hillcrest.

Dozens spoke in a public comment session that lasted more than two hours.

“This is wrong, this can't happen,” said one concerned resident. “This is a community, a neighborhood that will die if you sell this school.  This neighborhood will die and you guys will be the ones who will kill it.”

Officials argue that they're doing this because there is too much growth on the west side of the district, while in other areas enrollment is dropping.

The proposal will send students from Geneva Elementary to Suncrest and Bonneville starting next school year. Students from Hillcrest would join with Scera Park Elementary after a new school is built.

“We definitely are listening, and we are making efforts to problem solve together,” said John Patten, Assistant Superintendent of Alpine School District.

Some taxpayers argue that their money is being wasted, while others say that the district is targeting low income areas, leaving them with the short end of the stick.

“We deserve to be presented with all the numbers and sources,” said one concerned mother. “That is all we have asked for. Instead of teaching kids to deal with bullies, how about we teach them by example how not to be a bully.”

Voting is set to be scheduled on October 10, but many parents are asking the board to delay that vote.