School may have just started, but hundreds of Low Country kids are already looking at next year. That's when they'll open the brand new Bluffton High School. So students who live in Bluffton but now go to Hilton Head High will have to transfer. Even the seniors. There are going to be some exceptions, but many of the kids who really want to stay put aren't going to be able to.
"I don't want to graduate without my friends, or go to prom without my friends," said junior April Hudson. "I want to be able to be with them my whole high school experience."
But for the Beaufort County school district, it's important to get the new Bluffton High School off to a good start with strong classes. But not everyone who lives in Bluffton will have to go to Bluffton High.
"Students who have legitimate program requirements, International Baccalaureate, Navy ROTC, etc., those almost assuredly will be granted," said county schools spokesman John Williams. "Beyond that, I'm not in a position to comment."
School district officials say if some students are allowed to stay at Hilton Head, it won't be a free for all, by any means. Only a very limited number of students from Bluffton will be allowed to stay.
"We're opening Bluffton High School to alleviate the crowding that currently exists at Hilton Head High School," said Williams. "If we let 400 students stay at Hilton Head High that otherwise may be going to Bluffton, we haven't solved the crowding problem."
That explanation doesn't really satisfy a lot of kids, though.
"Well, if they're going to let ROTC stay, then I think they should let the sports stay," said junior Danielle Tosky. "I don't know. I just don't think it's fair altogether."
School district officials are going to spend this winter working with the two principals at Hilton Head and Bluffton, along with kids' parents, trying to figure out exactly who's going to which school. So most people will know well before Bluffton High opens up.