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Parents and students come out in protest against proposed school closure
by Sandy Lindsay

www.saugeentimes.com
www.walkertonnews.com

Education

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From the little village of Paisley, Ontario, almost 100 parents and children came out to the Bluewater School Board offices in Chesley on Tuesday, October 18th in protest against the proposed closure of their community school.

"This all comes down to dollars," said one grandmother. "This is not about the kids or programming.  It's all about money."

A mother in the crowd agrees.  "They couldn't care less about our community, or the centre of it which is our school.  The school board is all about the money and answering to the province.  The province keeps taking our school taxes and then what?  They close our schools."

Another woman in the crowd says her husband works at Bruce Power.  "This is a bedroom community for Bruce Power and this schoolboard has not taken into consideration the numbers of families that will be coming into this area because of the recent agreements between Bruce Power and the government.  Numbers are going to grow, but if we don't have a school, why would families want to buy homes or live here in Paisley?"

A teen who was there said that she has been to three schools that have closed since she started school.  "My last school was OSCVI in Owen Sound.  It doesn't seem to matter what we [students] want."
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Paisley School is part of an accommodation review (ARC) by the Bluewater School Board.  If the school is closed it would mean busing the students, Jr. Kindergarten to Gr. 8 to three different schools located in Chesley, Walkerton and Saugeen Shores.


According to a father in the crowd, busing will be a "... huge problem in the winter when the roads are closed.  Also our kids grow up together here and now they'll be split up going in different directions."

There were also several supporters who had traveled from Owen Sound in support of the Paisley families. "I feel sorry for the trustees," said one supporter.  "They really have no say in what happens.  Everything is controlled by the school board staff.  I remember when schools were individually supported by their own communities.  It was a real honour to volunteer as a trustee ... things have changed and not for the better." 


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016