New High School Sparks Controversy


Abbi Manos

Many students are upset they will not be attending the same schools as their family members. (Photo courtesy of Abbi Manos, Photo art courtesy of Mattie McConnell)

The Greenville County School Board recently approved plans for a new high school, but students, parents, and other community members have concerns. 

Fountain Inn High School, the first new public high school to be created since 1973, was created to lessen the number of students in high-population high schools such as Mauldin and Hillcrest, who each have individual student populations of more than 2,000. The new school is a much-needed development for a rapidly-growing county. Greenville County Schools released a proposal clarifying the details of this rezoning. 

The school is expected to take on 1,000 students in its first year and will have a maximum of 2,000 students. This is expected to take pressure off of teachers, administration, and funding for larger schools. 

However, there are mixed feelings from community members concerning the development. Many parents are concerned about the distance of the school from their homes, and some students are concerned that they will not be attending the same schools their siblings or family members did. Students whose older siblings are already attending any of the high schools will have the opportunity to attend the same high school. However, students whose high school careers do not overlap will not have that option.

“My brother has had a big influence on me, and one of the factors of that is because is because he went to Mauldin High, and I want to be just like him,” said one student at the hearing who’s school zoning will change come 2021. 

Board members noted that School Choice, which allows students to apply to attend alternative schools, is an available option for students unsatisfied with their future or current zoning. 

“We have 16% of the kids in our district on School Choice,” said Beth Brotherton, spokesperson for Greenville County Schools, at the meeting.

Construction has already begun, and the school will be built at 600 Quillen Avenue in Fountain Inn. However, many parents feel that they had no real input concerning the proposal, as development has already begun. 

“[I’m] not really sure if they were really listening to us or if they’ve already made up their mind,” said a parent who attended the meeting, which was recorded by Fox Carolina. 

The first students to attend this high school will be 7th graders currently zoned for Mauldin High School and Hillcrest High School. Students currently zoned for Woodmont High School will not be affected. 

While it seems unfair to many parents that their children will not be able to attend their originally-designated schools, Fountain Inn High School is a necessary development for Greenville County that needs to be populated.