FLASHER, N.D. (AP) -- The Flasher School Board is reconsidering its decision to send a school bus to pick up 16 students from Carson, after an angry response from Carson School Board members.
Board members threatened to dissolve a football cooperative with Flasher if the Flasher bus comes into Carson, about 16 miles west.
Carson School Board member Dan Stewart said he was shocked that a Flasher school bus would drive into Carson to pick up students.
"There's an unwritten rule that you don't breach some of those boundaries," Stewart said. "We don't like to feel like we're being invaded."
Flasher school officials sent letters last week telling Carson parents they would not start in-town bus service as promised on Wednesday.
Instead, the Flasher board plans a special meeting Wednesday night to reconsider its decision.
Brandi Ruscheinsky of Carson, who sends her daughter to school in Flasher, said that by backing off on sending a bus to Carson after the threat to dissolve the co-op, the Flasher School Board members are putting sports ahead of education.
"They'd rather worry about the football team," Ruscheinsky said.
The bus would help parents who are starting to feel the pinch of high gasoline prices, she said.
Flasher School Board member Dave Marion said he voted to send the Flasher bus into Carson. The vote was split 3-2, with two members absent. Marion wants to reconsider.
"I'm looking broader than the football cooperative, and there's a relationship we need to keep," Marion said. Rural schools increasingly rely on each other, and what happens between Carson and Flasher could impact school relationships all the way down Highway 21, he said.
Tom Decker, who directs school reorganization for the Department of Public Instruction, said it is legal for schools to go into other districts to transport students, and about half the districts do that.
"In some ways, it sounds like a divorce and the kids are the victims," Decker said of the Flasher-Carson dispute.
When the concept of open enrollment was approved by the Legislature, it included a provision that the receiving district needed permission from another to pick up students, Decker said. That provision was repealed, he said, because school boards would refuse permission and deny students the transportation to the school they preferred so they would not lose enrollment.