Loss of stu­dents will re­sult in more school clo­sures

Southwest Booster - - OPINION -

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 -

Neville

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