There’s a breath of life for three public schools in Richmond, after a unanimous vote Tuesday night handed a $1.5 million to Kennedy High and Olinda Elementary School and Grant Elementary.

Without the money the doors would have closed at the end of the year. Rev. Kenneth Davis was one of dozens who spoke out against the closure at the Tuesday night meeting.

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“If we allow this school to be closed, think about the millions of dollars that we’re going to have to spend to try to deal with these youngsters in the jailhouses and in the prisons,” said Davis.

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Kennedy Principal Roxanne Brown Garcia told the crowd she’s good and tired of hearing nothing but negatives about the high school.

“We have heart!” she passionately told the crowd. “It’s not about the building, but about the people who are in the building!”

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A number of concerned parents testified that sending students from Kennedy, as well as Olinda and Grant elementary schools to new turf would spark new violence in the already violent city.