Marie Spohrer was on the verge of tears when she heard that Jacob Gunther Elementary School was voted to be closed.
Her 10-year-old son, Phillip, is a special education student at Gunther and his favorite teacher, Christine Meaney, was recently granted tenure there.
"I am very sad to see it close," she said. "My son now has to go to a different school."
The Committee to Explore Educational Options, a group comprised of parents, teachers and employees of all six schools in the district, voted to close the school at a meeting at Saw Mill Elementary School on Wednesday night. Approximately 300 people were in attendance.
Twelve out of the 21 members found that closing Gunther would be the best option.
The committee's vote will be recommended to the school board at a public hearing on Dec. 8. The board will have the final say in which school will close.
"Hopefully the final decision will be made at the public hearing in December, but there are no guarantees," Superintendent Arnold Goldstein said.
In October, Goldstein said that the district needs to cut $1.8 million in costs and that enrollment has decreased since the 2004-05 school year. School officials said the district could save money by closing one school and keeping kindergarten through sixth grade at each campus.
On Wednesday, the committee said that if Gunther closed its doors, the 239 students enrolled could be accommodated in the closest schools, Dinkelmeyer Elementary School and the Saw Mill School. Gunther's special education students would be moved to Martin Avenue Elementary School.
When parents heard the outcome of the vote some cried while others lashed out at the Goldstein and the committee.
Ed Krauss, fire chief of the North Bellmore Fire Department went to North Bellmore Schools and wants his children to go also. He said that the closing of any school in the district would be heartbreaking.
"This is just a shame," he said.