On the first of two days of hearings in the D.C. council about closing 20 schools, witnesses against the plan came by the dozens. Meanwhile, outside schools targeted for closing, like Ferebee Hope in Southeast, they protested.
Schools chancellor Kaya Henderson told NewsChannel 8's Bruce Depuyt said 123 schools are too many for just 45,000 D.C. public school students::
"We have some schools where they are only 25 percent full," she said. "We can't be paying custodians and maintaining building at the expense of our students."
Yet at Thurgood Marshall Elementary in Northeast, residents point to all the new development and new houses arguing now's not the time.
"You're affecting families, you're affecting kids and you're affecting this community," says Joseph Matthews, a father of a student. And outside Spingarn, the only high school slated to close, a mother, whose son was a homicide victim, worries:
"Sending these children to different neighborhoods that are beefing with each other and it's going to be a lot of stuff going on," says Cynthia Kinard-Sparks.