Loss of students will result in more school closures
Editor: I was disappointed to read the decision made on April 22 by the Chinook School Division Board to close the Morse School.
Morse has always been strong a community with a great spirit and the proven ability to work together.
It is clear that the School Board's decision has created bitterness and anger between the neighboring towns of Herbert and Morse. It is also clear that some of theMorse students will not willingly attend school in Herbert. It is unfortunate when a school board decision results in bad feelings between small prairie communities.
The enrollment at the Morse School has been growing and only six more students were needed to meet the required benchmarks. A delay of another year would have given the Morse School Community Council sufficient time to increase the number of students in attendance at their school. Why is there such a big rush to close a school?
My sincere wish is that the Morse School will be designated "a school of opportunity" by the provincial government.
On January 21, 2009 I attended the annual meeting of the Chinook School Division in Swift Current. I was surprised at how few ratepayers were in attendance. One of the statistics presented at this meeting is that there will be a projected loss of 750 students in the next four years in the Chinook School Division. This can only mean more school closures.
I would like to quote from Martin Niemoller, a German Pastor who was imprisoned by the Nazis during their "Reign of Terror"
"..they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew,
and then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up."
In 2007 the schools in Neville, Piapot, and Admiral were closed and no one outside these communities said anything, because it was not their community being affected.
In 2008 Climax and Tompkins schools were closed and not one outside these communities said anything.
In 2009 it is the turn of Morse school to be closed and no one will be protesting (outside of this community) because it is not them being affected.
Well, you get my point. With a projected loss of 750 students in the next four years, the Chinook School Division Board will soon be coming to your community. What will you do then?
Only one board member consistently votes agains these school closures.
The October 2009 elections will be held for the Chinook School Division board. It is our responsibility to elect board members that are sympathetic and prepared to "think outside the box" with regard to school closures.
Let's not leave Bernie Ford to carry this load alone. Marvin T. Allan -