This research investigates the closing of a small, rural community school. Even though the community waged a tenacious effort to save their school, it closed anyway. Today, in its place, sits a new, private, community school. This research focuses on the dynamics of that drama. The research design consists of multiple levels of interviews (personal, telephone, and focus group), archival reviews of local newspapers, and analysis of video tapes of the monthly meetings o fthe local school board. Additionally, the community shared with the researcher large boxes of confidential legal documents used in the court proceedings against the county. The findings of this research reveal several key issues. First, the county seems to have been determined to close the school at any social cost even without any identifiable, empirical, objective data analysis of the effects of the closing. Second, the community was equally determined to keep the school open. Third, the actors on each side of the issue appear to have been driven by subjective, symbolic representations of the other almost to the point where their decision making capacity was held captive by this process.

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