One group discourages Warrior-WAP merger idea

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 7, 2004

EUTAW-Wednesday night in Eutaw, the County seat of Greene County, and a group of parents met with their school’s Board to hear the fate of their private school, Warrior Academy. The Board gave three alternatives.

First, they could enter into the next school year with a $150,000 deficit and hope that something good might happen. This was viewed by the Board as an irresponsible choice.

Second, they could cut the school in half by sending the upper 6 grades to West Alabama Prep in Demopolis. Or three, the school could be closed.

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David Shaw, who is one of the Board members, said the school has had trouble with funds and enrollment for sometime, but it has finally come to a head and that left the Board to present these three options.

“None of these options are any good,” Shaw said, “We just want to keep a school presence in the City of Eutaw.”

The parents were shocked by the choices and let the Board know that choices two and three were not alternatives. Law Lamar with the Friends of Hale County attended the meeting and suggested the school changing to a Christian school like Briarwood Christian in Birmingham.

He further stated that this would mean the school would be open to both races. The thought was that teaching Christian values and learning Bible truths would be an added plus for the current students as well as inviting to new prospective students.

The reaction by the parents was not what one would expect of a school started in the racially electrified years of the 60s. No parent’s face looked down at the floor, no parent’s face had a scowl, and no parent flinched.

The reaction was the same; mixing the races was not a concern, saving the school was the only goal. They knew that people in this economically distressed area had to have a good education and a strong faith or they would face life with too heavy a burden. Could it be that the time of racism has passed these parents in this community?

But the solution of becoming a Christian school must also include statewide Christians and their Churches providing leadership and money until additional students’ fees can pay for the yearly cash shortage.

This Greene County Community has through fund raising and generous givers provided for the cash storage each year. But $35,000 needs to be raised to replace lost students’ tuitions and another $40,000 needs to be donated for scholarships for 30 low-income family Black students.

This could be a major step for the Black Belt Area and our State towards bringing our races together. Churches that are active and passionate in their faith need to step forward make commitments of money and leadership and create a Christian school.

“On Friday, Mountain Brook Community Church in Birmingham made the initial commitment of $35,000 to this project,” Lamar said.

Shaw said a decision on the fate of Warrior Academy would be made next Thursday during the next called meeting.