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Student petition to oust school board members gains momentum | Schools

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Student petition to oust school board members gains momentum
Student petition to oust school board members gains momentum

ATLANTA-- One DeKalb County high school sophomore's frustration prompted her to launch a petition asking the governor to remove all the school board members.  It appears hundreds agree with her.

Grace McKenna launched her petition just days ago on change.org and already she has received more signatures that she expected.

"I had no idea it would become this big. I just thought students from my school would sign it," said McKenna.

December 17, 2012 the Southern Association of colleges and schools released a scathing report about the DeKalb County School District placing it on probation.

RELATED | DeKalb School Board comes under D.A.'s scrutiny

Dr. Mark Elgart, President and CEO of AdvancED said it was in a state of "conflict and chaos" and ordered school board members to clean up their act within a year or face losing accreditation.

MdKenna said that scares her because she'll be a junior by then and looking toward college.

"I've worked hard to get good grades and prepare for college.  Now, that could be difficult because no college wants to accept a student with an unaccredited degree," said McKenna.

Apparently she's not the only one with those fears.  Since launching her petition, the majority of  comments and signatures so far are from other kids who attend DeKalb County schools.

McKenna's mom, Julie McKenna, said she is proud of her daughter for trying to give a voice to the students.  She said kids have enough to worry about in high school without adding the fear of losing accreditation to the list.

"They are honestly worried that their hard work is not going to be recognized at the end of all of this.  It is just not fair to them. Punishing the school board members is really just punishing the kids," said Julie McKenna.

Grace McKenna is keeping the petition up a few more days before forwarding it to both the governor and the state board of education.

In the meantime, DeKalb County school board members are expected to meet with state officials January 17 to answer questions about the SACS report and defend their actions.