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Old 04-14-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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Hello, I am a 29 year old African American single mother. I have two sons, ages 2 and 5. I am desparately trying to find somewhere I can relocate to in order to provide my children with a better education and overall safer environment. I currently own a home in Decatur, GA which I plan to rent out after I move. I have looked at several school district in and around Atlanta. I have narrowed it down to Fayette, Gwinnett, Rockdale, or Cobb. I want my children to grow up and attend school in a safe neighborhood and I would love to provide them with a good education without having to pay for private school. I am originally from Pennsylavania and I have experience racism as a child growing up and attending majority white private and public schools. That is why I would like to have the opinion of both white and black parents whos children attend school in these school districts. I am also aware that Americans have grown and matured when it comes to being culturally diverse and accepting of all races. But I do believe racism still exsist and before I move my family to a new neighborhood I would like to have some insight. Although I have yet to visit Watkinsville, GA. I have gone to their county web page and researched their school district. Oconee County seems to be a very nice place and I would be willing to move there. The question is "Is it nice for African American?" If not, where can African Americans live in GA and not have to dodge bullets, have clean streets, festivals and fairs, and wonderful schools. Thank you in advance for your comments.
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I am not black so I cannot put myself into your shoes regarding sensitivities and experience with racism. However, my future daughter-in-law is black so that might provide some idea of how I feel about racism.

With that said, Oconee County's superintendent of schools is black whereas Oconee County is decidely majority white. Here in Athens where the schools are awful and very much majority black, we have a white superintendent. I doubt racism played a role in either county's selection of superintendents. I have read nor heard a thing about any overt racism in Oconee County and their school system is usually rated as one of the very best nationwide and certainly in GA. I would be surprised if you ran into overt racism in that area. However, you can run into that anywhere in the world.

Out of the list you provided, my choice would be Oconee County hands down. Many liberal UGA profs and workers live out there. It is more upscale though there are plenty of average earner neighborhoods. I would opt for as upscale as you can afford.

There are a number of private schools in the area as well. All of them are good but of course can be pricey. I've not heard of any racial issues with any of them.

Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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i am not black either and a long way from a racist. however i think that the blacks cause most of the racial problems that they have.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I forgot to mention that compared to Athens, Oconee County is virtually crime free. I wish I had located there when we moved back to Athens. I think you will find that it meets most of your criteria.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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I grew up in Oconee county, granted I have not lived there in 10 years (when there was only one high school and one middle and a different superintedent), a lot of my family still lives there and I visit when I can.

Here's my 2 cents... Most families live there bc of the schools, housing is seen as expensive, especially compared to Athens, but as someone else mentioned, the school system and crime are behind this. The county itself is growing with more to do and Athens is within 20 minutes of just about everywhere, so lots to do.

Onto more important things IMHO... Most of the town is clicky (for lack of better words), it is still a small town, and if you are not part of the "old money" or make friends with such people, it may be hard to be "accepted" by all, but not to the point where they would go out of their way to disrupt your life. My family, although white, was/is not part of the "in-crowd", so we have experienced some of what we see as unfairness, like in the high school sports teams, etc. It does nothing more than make us think a few choice words and then move on with our lives. This is not to be said you would not enjoy it, most smaller-town areas I have been to are like this. There are still the people who would be stand-offish towards your family bc of being single mother and African American, but I think you find this in many areas too. You will not have to dodge bullets though, just endure some looks from some people, who really aren't important. Just remember these people do not think for everyone (or even most people). However, these people are dwindling and there is a more open-minded population there now than when I was in school.

On a side-note, my husband is from PA, and although he doesn't much care for GA, he agrees that there was more racism up there. He says down here there is more talk and that's from just a few "rednecks". haha

My husband is in the military, so we don't get to pick where we live, but if we did, Oconee County, with all of it's quirks, would be on the list because of the schools (we have elementary age kids) and location to activities.

It's amazing to see how much the county is growing, and with growth comes new ideas and opinions become of increased diversity. I would recommend taking a few days to drive around and visit the different areas of the county, especially during the evenings and weekend to see how comfortable you feel and people make you. In the city of Watkinsville there is a great little, local, one-of-a-kind sandwich shop, which people from all over have enjoyed going to (I always recommend it to friends who are driving through). It's only open for lunch though.

I hope this helps a little. Good luck in your search. I think you are a great mom for wanting a good area for your children to grow up. Hopefully you can get input from someone with a child in school there now, my nephews are not there yet...
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:01 PM
 
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Default curious

I'm glad you asked that question, I'm looking into relocating back to Georgia after a 11 years of living in MI, and am also a single african american mother of 2 "tween" daughters. Oconee co. schools is has potentially attracted me to that area, but the low african american percentage made me a little weary.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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It is interesting the original post was April 14, 2010. Here it is the anniversary of that post. I wonder what the OP finally did about moving.

Right now Oconee County's real estate prices are plummeting. Many, many foreclosures. The school system is still rated well. Athens is still struggling.

I think parents make a huge mistake wanting their children to "fit in" with their peers. It is peers who mess up your kid's minds. I wanted my children to be different, to be family oriented rather than crowd oriented. Now that they are young adults, they know how to say no to friends or to choose friends carefully. Many of their original school peer crowd are druggies, jobless or in trouble with the court.

Good luck to you as you make your way through this.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:23 AM
 
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Hello! I'm not sure if people still come to find information regarding this thred, (i did) but I would like to add some input. I am a 22 year old female that lives in Oconee County. I also graduated from North Oconee High in 2007. My mom moved us here back when I was in the fourth grade so I guess you could say I have been here since. I just wanted to let you know that it was a GREAT place to grow up in. Everything from the teachers to the kids were great. I have a one year old daughter and I plan to put her in the Oconee County school system as well.

I do have to admit, just like most have said the county is mostly Caucasian familes that do have money and are "rich" so it may be a dramatic change to your kids. Up until like 7th grade I was the only African American girl in most if not all of my classes. My mom moved to Athens when I was in the middle of my 11th grade year and OMG it was a HUGE difference! I HATED it. It was ghetto and mostly if not all black. I felt as if the teachers were there only for a paycheck, granted there were a few who actually like teaching the kids. The students were so terrible and bad that most of the class time was telling some of the kids to stop acting up and pay attention. Most of the kids would "pick" on me calling me stuck up and white only because I talked proper and not ghetto like most of the kids that attending the Clarke County school system. I was ok with that because it made me feel a little good having them think that lol As the months went by, I wanted to move back to Oconee ASAP in which we did because my sisters and I couldnt take it. I was back to my comfort zone once i stepped foot in the Oconee county school system.

Im not sure if you did in fact move here or not, but coming from experience, I would say that you should in fact move here if you want your kids to experience something different and if you want your kids to come to a better school system. Good luck
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