Omaha South doesn’t appear to be an option for Anthony Bratton’s next high school.
An Omaha Public Schools spokesperson said Monday that, according to the district’s student placement office, enrollment at South is closed and that it is expected to be closed in the second semester as well because of capacity.
Bratton is a 6-foot-7 senior who was third-team All-Metro as a junior at Omaha Westside, where he began his prep career.
Last week, after his family said it had contacted South about a possible transfer, his mother sought to enroll him there on Thursday and he was no longer on the Westside team.
Wylesha Franklin, Bratton’s mother, said Monday night Westside will allow him to take his finals.
“I need my son to get his credits,” she said. “We’ve overcome a hurdle here and that’s a blessing.”
NSAA rules allow Bratton to return to OPS and remain eligible for sports. The Franklins live in the Burke attendance area.
OPS communications director Monique Farmer, in an email, said the district’s student assignment plan states that they attend their area school based on the student’s address. Students can apply to attend a different OPS school, but the request must be approved by the Student Placement Office. Approval of the application request is subject to space availability at the requested school as well as the student’s academic achievement and conduct.
“Space availability is the No. 1 factor,” Farmer wrote. “If capacity has been reached or exceeded and enrollment has been closed at a school for that reason, the student/family would have less flexibility with regard to school selection.”
But Farmer emphasized that OPS “will always find a space” for students at their home school regardless of capacity challenges.
Franklin said she still wants to get Bratton into South.
“I still feel the need to go in and ask that they make good what they’ve said to us,” she said.
She reiterated that her son was not out to abandon his Westside teammates or leaving for South because it was coming off a state championship last season.
“He’ll always be a Westside Warrior,” she said. “Going to a different school doesn’t mean he’s lost his love for Westside.”
Franklin clarified that when she spoke last Wednesday with Westside Athletic Director Tom Kerkman, the day after Bratton and his stepfather visited South, it was in a phone conversation. She said the discussion grew contentious over whether Bratton could stay on the team.
“I had to do what I felt was best,” Franklin said. “I let Westside have control the whole time. I wasn’t happy, but I was silent for the sake of my son.”