North Huron Parents Still Uneasy With School Plan
September 23, 2009 5:50 am
The ministry-appointed facilitator in the appeal
of the closure of the Blyth Public School met with ARC committee members
from the other four schools in the accommodation review last night in Blyth.Robert Hunkings of Hullet Central Public
School says they were disappointed that capacity at F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham was such a
critical factor in the final decision since the high school was never included
in the accommodation review.(Click arrow for audio or right click to
download)Hunkings acknowledged that since the changes would
not affect more than 50 per cent of the student population of the high school
the board was not required to include them on the review.But he felt it would
have helped the process if they had known that was going to be a
factor.Facilitator Margaret Wilson says she will meet with board officials this
morning then head back to Toronto to start writing a report.That will take 2 to
I am glad that Blyth Public is fighting this. Although I have removed my daughter from the school (due to bullying reasons), there seems to be a positive morale due to the arrival of the new principal. As I have said before, this is not merely a school issue, it is a community one. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the Seaforth meeting. I am not sure how many people turned out for the meeting, but I do know that many signed the petition that was brought house to house during the summer.
I have mentioned that this is not solely a school closing issue, it is basic economics. If they have the ability to use money for a JK-6 school, which most likely (this is opinion) would be situated in Wingham, then they could also push for more funding for a JK to 8 school. Wingham has been using Blyth tax dollars and moneys earned from the Bluewater Dog Show, Threshers, and moneys earned from the Community Centre (if I am not mistaken). We are subsidizing Wingham. My question is why? It seems like the Sauble Beach/Wiarton conundrum. Small town subsidizing a larger town, yet the small town does not benefit. We are central from Clinton to Wingham which draws from surrounding areas. We are operating at a good capacity in the school.
I guess my intent, as it has always been, is for the Board to look at the entire picture, especially a small town scenario. Maybe the shades of grey are not written into their mandates passed down from the government? Maybe this should be investigated. It is not just a black and white issue based on numbers, bricks and mortar, and what is the easiest choice to make. There are shades of grey, and as each rural school closes, without a suitable, or even a "better option", people will take their children elsewhere, or move away. This is a simplistic view of the situation at hand.
Something smells funny here, and it's not just manure festering on the fields.