Four parents of students at Walter Reed Elementary School in Arlington have asked the county Circuit Court to stop the school board from shutting down Reed at the end of the 1983-1984 school year.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the parents asked the court to void the board's decision last month to close the North Arlington school and issue a court order prohibiting the board and Superintendent Charles E. Nunley from taking further actions to close the school.
The parents said in court papers that closing Reed "is contrary to the established closing criteria and will require massive busing of students."
The parents also contended in court papers that closing the school "will disrupt what is now an excellent educational program."
The board voted May 5 to close Claremont Elementary School this month and to close Reed and Barrett elementary schools at the end of the 1983-84 school year.
In the lawsuit, the parents also contended that three board members should have excused themselves from the voting because they have children in schools that could have been affected by their decisions. The lawsuit was filed by Elizabeth Hussain, Anne Thompson, Phyllis Treadway and John Scott on behalf of their children at Reed school.
According to the parents, the central issue in their dispute with the school board is the concept of "marketability," a factor introduced into the consolidation process by Nunley last February. A study by Nunley's staff concluded at that time that Reed was a good candidate for closure because it was "most marketable for leasing due to its proximity to the Westover commercial area."
The parents contend in their lawsuit that the board used marketability as a factor in deciding which schools to close, although the concept is not among the approved criteria for those decisions.
The lawsuit also alleges that three board members--Margaret Bocek, Simone Pace and Claude Hilton--should not have participated in the decision to close Reed school because they each had children who attend other schools that were either under consideration for closing or relocation.
Bocek denied the board used marketability in deciding which schools to close and declined further comment about on the lawsuit. Pace and Hilton could not be reached for comment.