• Palm Bay band director accused of harassment, hazing could be fired


    Brevard County school leaders will discuss the future of four schools on Tuesday.

    The superintendent has recommended closing Seapark, Gardendale and South Lake elementary schools, along with Clearlake Middle, after voters rejected a half-cent sales tax increase.

    The district said it needs more than $20 million to repair or replace things like leaky roofs, failing air conditioning units and aging buses.

    The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

    Last week, more than 200 angry parents gathered to fight the proposal.

    "It's not easy. It's very emotional, and we understand that and we understand that people are connected to their local school," said Michelle Irwin from Brevard County Schools.

    Pete Martin, the parent of a Gardendale third -grader, questioned the urgency of some of the work.

    "There's a lot of construction that goes on in the school district that doesn't need to happen," said Martin.

    A district representative said the schools proposed for closure weren't randomly chosen, but selected because of proximity to other schools, building needs and other factors.

    But Karen Proctor, president of Gardendale's Parent-Teacher Organization, said she had no idea that if the voter referendum failed her school could be closed.

    "I would say Friday I was pretty blindsided. I was shocked," said Proctor.

    A district staff member said closing the schools will save about $4 million and pay for a fraction of what the district says it needs.

    A district representative said it would cost $800,000 to put the question back on the ballot, and the school system can't afford that.

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