LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Despite concerns about what it could mean for the future of the school, the Lafayette Parish School Board voted along narrow margins to move both gifted and language immersion education programs from Paul Breaux Middle School during Wednesday night's meeting.

The board voted 5 to 4 to move the gifted program from Paul Breaux to Edgar Martin Middle School. The vote to move the French and Spanish immersion programs was also 5 to 4 in favor of moving them to Scott Middle School.

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During the public comment portion of the meeting, families spoke to the school board about the proposed move. Several of the speakers during the lengthy public discussion were students who were extremely concerned with the board separating the gifted and immersion programs to different schools.

"Todd, a student at Myrtle Place Elementary, told the board both in French and English about his desire to attend Paul Breaux next year for middle school," The Acadiana Advocate reported. "He attends the school once a week now for gifted enrichment."

“My grandmother is a graduate of Paul Breaux High School. It would be an honor to attend her alma mater,” Todd told the school board. “[The move would] not only be erasing part of my family history but would force me to leave the two programs. It is unfair to me and my peers, who are on the same journey."

The board's vote comes more than a week after rumors began circulating that the school board was looking to eventually close Paul Breaux Middle School and turn it into a storage facility.

The rumored closure of Paul Breaux Middle School sparked a significant reaction from the community, KPEL News previously reported - including from parents of current and former students. A Change.org petition advocating for the school's continuation rapidly gained several thousand signatures and emphasized the importance of Paul Breaux Middle School to the community.


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Paul Breaux Middle School originally opened in 1940 as Paul Breaux High School. Shortly thereafter, the school transitioned to cater to students in grades 5-8.

The school is named after Paul Breaux, who was a prominent figure in Lafayette, Louisiana, known for his contributions to education and the African American community.

Breaux was considered a pioneer educator and school principal, deeply involved in the establishment and improvement of educational facilities for African American students during the era of segregation. The school was named in his honor to recognize his significant contributions to education in the Lafayette area.

This history behind not just the school, but the name as well are big factors behind community resistance to the idea of closing the school. LPSS did release a statement on the issue, but while the press release did not directly address the future of Paul Breaux Middle School, it shed light on the broader context of academic and financial planning within the Lafayette Parish School System.

It does not appear that shuttering the school is on the table for the moment, and the school board is making these decisions largely on cost-cutting grounds, but there are still several concerns in the community, including what would happen to the regular education students at the school. LPSS would likely run the risk of overcrowding other nearby schools - like Acadian Middle, LJ Alleman Middle, and Lafayette Middle - if they had to relocate students to accommodate closing.

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Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham