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Parents frustrated after Redemptorist meeting

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BATON ROUGE - Parents and students said they were frustrated after a meeting Tuesday morning with the Diocese of Baton Rouge over the future of Redemptorist High and Junior High.

The parents said they found no comfort in their discussion with Bishop Robert Muench, who announced last Friday that the school would close in 2015 due to low enrollment.

"There's a lot of questions that have loose ends to it, and no we have no comfort," said grandparent Willie Mellion. "When it all boils down it seems the school is going to close."

Parents told News 2 they were holding out hope that something would come along to save the school. A group called "Save Redemptorist" on Facebook is organizing parents and alumni to try and help.

"We are shocked, and we are very disappointed in the decision that the diocese has made to close the school down," said Alumni Board member Lawrence Robillard. "We feel we weren't give a due chance to keep it open."

Redemptorist once boasted an enrollment of more than 1,000 students in 1980. The diocese said Friday that their projected enrollment for the next academic year was only 150 students, and that the state's decision in October to revoke their ability to bring in voucher students was a factor in their choice to close the school. Redemptorist Elementary will remain open.

"It's ridiculous," said RHS senior Alexis Paddie. "There's a girl in there that's supposed to be valedictorian, and she can't do that at any other school. It's not the same. It's not the same."

The diocese also scheduled a January meeting for voucher students and their parents to meet with state education officials and figure out where they're going to school next year.

News 2's Troy Gaulden will have more on grassroots efforts to save Redemptorist and the difficult choices students and their parents now face starting at noon.


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