Students, coaches, parents weigh in on Pitt Co. open enrollment rules

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Following the decision on open enrollment Monday, many students, parents and coaches are weighing in on what has turned into a controversial topic.

The Pitt County Board of Education expanded the number of schools participating in open enrollment during a meeting Monday. However, where things got controversial was in high schools involving athletics.

Board members decided if a student athlete were to transfer to Ayden-Grifton, Farmville Central, or North Pitt High Schools, they could play immediately. However, if that same student athlete were to transfer to J.H. Rose, DH Conley, or South Central High Schools, they would have to sit out for a year.

“Kids that want to just up and chase, or parents that just want to up and chase, championships and things like that at the larger schools, it’s not going to be acceptable,” said Mary Blount-Williams, vice chair of the Pitt County Board of Education.

However, this decisions hasn’t been met well by some students and coaches. Neal Carr, head coach of the North Pitt girls basketball team, said it isn’t fair for students.

“This is high school, okay. This is not college where you can redshirt on a transfer,” Carr said.

On his team, there is at least one player who attends North Pitt that is in a different school’s zone. Freshman Casandra Watson is supposed to attend Ayden-Grifton, but is going to North Pitt to get a fresh start.

“North Pitt is a great place to come,” she said. “The environment is positive, and I just like the vibes.”

She said her choice wasn’t based on athletics, but rather academics. She said she thought the decision by the board was based solely on athletics.

“I feel like it should be equally weighed on academics and athletics, but more so on academics,” Watson said.

Pitt County Schools said the changes only impact students in open enrollment. If a student moves into the Rose, Conley or South Central school zones, they won’t have to sit out for a year.

More information on open enrollment can be found here.

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