Parents and students of Bayview Regional Collegiate recently protested the school’s closure, a decision that was made four years ago. Jackman told The Western Star that the closure is a reflection of what is happening, not just across the province, but across the country.
“People are not having as many children as they once were,” said Jackman. “I sympathize with parents, but the board had to deal with realities that unfortunately aren’t in the same line as parents would prefer.”
Disapproval from residents has been ongoing since the school board made the decision. In 2010, a presentation to revisit the closure was turned down, and the issue came up again with two demonstrations in recent weeks.
There is also a letter campaign to various levels of government and the board of trustees, as well as district staff.
Jackman said declining birth rates mean not as many educational facilities are needed as there once were, therefore, some buildings will need to be closed.
He said the decision has already been made.
“The district board did their consultations in 2008,” he said. “Boards are an elected, legislative body, they’re elected to make decisions.”
Town councillor Dale Colbourne said at the beginning of the week that no explanation was ever provided about why the school had to be closed.
She said students will be bused from eight communities on a ride that would take about 45 minutes and she said parents are worried about travel in adverse weather conditions with inadequate snow clearing and cell phone coverage.