Judge Rules: Keep Ramsey School Closed

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STROUDSBURG -- Keep the school closed. That was the court ruling in Monroe County after parents filed an emergency injunction to try and re-open Ramsey Elementary in Stroudsburg.

A judge ruled late Monday afternoon to deny a preliminary injunction to re-open Ramsey Elementary just about a week before school is set to start.

Despite parents' best efforts in Stroudsburg to keep an elementary school open, the courts have ruled to keep it closed.

W. H. Ramsey Elementary will not re-open and students have been re-assigned to other schools in the Stroudsburg Area School District.

"They may have won this battle but I feel ultimately we have won the war whether or not we go forward.  The school board is on notice that we intend to be taken seriously," said PTA President Erica McCabe.

McCabe spearheaded efforts to re-open Ramsey.  She filed a lawsuit earlier this month claiming the school board not only did not follow the proper procedure to close the school, but also violated sunshine laws in the process.

After the emergency injunction was denied by a judge, the parents said they still achieved a small victory in court.

"School boards will be on watch. I mean what they did was wrong, they know it. They worked on a backwards timeline, but essentially it is what it is," said parent Tarah Probst.

The judge listened to hours of testimony from school board members, parents, and the superintendent of Stroudsburg Area School District.

The ruling was denied due to a lack of time to re-open the schools, lack of evidence, and no specific law was ever violated.

Board members at the center of this school controversy say it's time to move on.

"It's a great time for us as a community to stop being angry and bitter about decisions that were made in the past, and start coming together and building a better future for our community and our school," said School Board Vice President Bruce Stewart.

School officials said they're happy to move out of the courtroom and back into the classrooms at the schools they've been planning to use.

"There's clearly a passionate argument on both sides, whether it be the parents side or the school district side, and at this point in time we're going to just move forward as a district. We're going to do what we do best and that's educate kids and I can't wait to get the kids back next week," said Superintendent Dr. John Toleno.

School officials said all Ramsey students have been re-assigned and parents already have received notice for where their kids will start the school year next week.

Clearview Elementary in Stroud Township is still scheduled to close at the end of next year.

Parents who filed the emergency injuction said they're not so sure if this fight is over just yet.