An Alexandria area family, whose two children attend DeKalb West School, may be forced to transfer them to schools in Watertown after a whistleblower informed school officials here that the family actually lives in Wilson County.
Bobby and Kimberly Vickers own property that straddles the DeKalb/Wilson County line and they pay property taxes in both counties. But their home is actually just across the county line in Wilson County at Goose Creek and under current School Board policy, parents who do not reside in DeKalb County cannot send their children to school in DeKalb County.
Mrs Vickers, who spoke with WJLE Monday night, said this is unfair to them and the children because they have lived at this same address for the last five or six years and school administrators here have known it, yet the children have been allowed to attend and are still attending DeKalb West School. She says the question of their residency only became an issue recently when someone "turned them in." "They are telling us that they (children) have got to move to Wilson County because our house and about an acre (of our land) is in Wilson County while the rest of our land is in DeKalb County. Even though we pay property taxes in both counties, they're trying to kick them (children) out. They're saying since we live in Wilson County and that's where we lay our heads, that's where our children must go to school."
According to Mrs. Vickers, when her daughter, Kiersten was enrolled in Kindergarten at DeKalb West School in 2002, the family lived on Highway 53 at Liberty. The next year, the Vickers moved to Statesville and the child was enrolled in school at Watertown. Then during the 2004-05 school year when the family left Statesville and moved to where they live now, Kiersten was enrolled as a second grader at DeKalb West school and has remained in school there since. She is now thirteen years old and in the eighth grade.
Meanwhile the Vickers' younger child, Kolten who was enrolled at DeKalb West as a pre-school student four years ago, is now eight years old and in the third grade at DeKalb West School.
The Vickers children are transported to and from school by the family.
Mrs. Vickers says she and her husband got a call from Attendance Supervisor Clay Farler last month informing them that there was a problem. "The first day of school they (the children) went (to school). Then I came home about 11:30 a.m. or twelve o'clock and I got a phone call from Clay (Farler) who said that we had to move our children because we are in Wilson County. He said somebody had turned us in.."
Mrs. Vickers says it's ridiculous to uproot these children from the school and friends they've known for so long. "Here these kids have gone to school here this whole entire time and now they're trying to kick them out because supposedly they got a phone call from somebody saying we are in Wilson County. They (school officials) have known this since the beginning of the school year. Supposedly they had talked about it before school started, but they let our kids start school and then they call the first day and tell us that we've got to move them. That's just ridiculous."
The Vickers have requested to speak at the Board of Education meeting Thursday night and their request is on the agenda. Mrs. Vickers says she is hoping the board will hear their appeal and allow these children to remain in school at DeKalb West. "I'm hoping they're going to be able to stay at the West school where all their friends are. "Kiersten is in the eighth grade and if she has to move she's going to miss out on all her eighth grade year and all her trips."