“The general consensus is outrage. They can’t believe their neighbourhood school is going to be closed down.”
Parents in Richmond have launched a petition and plan to hold a rally in protest of plans to close a number of schools in the city.
Kim Nowitsky says the provincial government’s requirement of 95-percent capacity for a school to qualify for seismic upgrades is causing turmoil and chaos for parents in Richmond.
Nowitsky says they jumped at the chance to put her child in a French program and now the school might close its doors because the French class students don’t count towards the capacity requirement.
“We thought we won the lottery, because that is what they called it a lottery, and he got into the French program and we thought this is great he Is going to learn French. He actually enjoys it. Its lovely because we know all the parents, we know all the kids, we know the teachers and now to have to pull him from that I don’t think they realize some parents will take their kids out of the French program.”
Nowitsky says she might have to pull her son out of his French program if the school closes.
“I don’t have time to do that extra driving. I work. I spend already 40 minutes a day in the car. I can’t afford to pay for extra gas. He would not be going to the French school. The other solution is that they would send him to a nearby school and add five portables to that school to accommodate the kids. So I am kind of left in a difficult situation.”
Nowitsky says parents are outraged and want to let the district and the provincial government know.
“We are circulating a city wide petition. We have hand delivered them to all of the elementary schools in Richmond, which have a copy of the petition in English and also in Chinese.”
A rally will be held this Saturday in front of local MLA John Yap’s office in protest.