August 23rd, 2011 by WCBC Radio
Little Orleans families should find out today whether their middle schoolers will be allowed to continue to attend school in Washington County. A two hour hearing was held Monday afternoon in Allegany County Circuit Court for Save Orleans Students vs. the Allegany County Board of Education. A group of about three dozen Little Orleans families filed the lawsuit ten days ago, requesting an injunction to stop the board from requiring middle school students to attend Allegany County public schools this year. A grandfather clause allows about 20 high school students to finish their education in Hancock, but middle school students were not included in the clause in the action taken by the local school board . An injunction would allow those students to continue attending Hancock Middle School until the Maryland State Board of Education decides whether to overturn the Allegany board’s decision. Little Orleans families filed an appeal with the state board earlier this summer. Attorney Jason Buckel, is representing the citizens group and he pinned much of his case on other similar cases in Maryland where the courts have agreed to maintain the status quo, pending the state board’s action on an appeal. Allegany County School Board Attorney Gary Hanna has filed a motion to dismiss based on a number of procedural issues. Buckel called three Little Orleans parents at witnesses, including the assistant principal at Hancock Middle-High School. He tells WCBC News that acknowledged that Judge Gary Leasure has a tough decision to make in a short time period.