The director of education for the Western School District has asked people in the St. Lunaire-Griquet area to stop blocking access to Bayview Regional Collegiate every morning and disrupting class time.
The concerned residents are into their second week of these daily protests. They are asking the board to overturn its decision to bus students from Grades 7-12 to St. Anthony in September after Bayview is closed.
Elliott is concerned the class disruption, reportedly about one class per morning, is impacting the students, especially those preparing to write public and final exams.
“We are at the stage where every period of instruction is crucial,” he said. “Our concern is that the academic well-being of our students, particularly our students who are set to graduate this year, might be compromised.”
The director of education also said the school district has received representation from residents who want the protests to end and the school disruption to stop. He said school administrators there are also concerned.
Elliott would not speculate on what actions might have to be taken if the protests continue. He prefers the residents in the area, who have differing opinions on the issue and the demonstrations, resolve the situation themselves.
“Our concern is that the academic well-being of our students, particularly our students who are set to graduate this year, might be compromised.” - Ross Elliott, Western School District director of education
The director reinforced the 2008 decision to close the school and bus students to St. Anthony this September is final. The board’s motion not to engage in further discussion about that decision, which he said was made to extinguish any false hope it could be overturned, does not include providing information about the transition to the new school.
A principal has been appointed for the new school in St. Anthony, said Elliott, and a vice-principal will soon be named. He said information pertaining to the transition only, including any relevant questions or concerns people have, will be openly discussed by district staff.
Members of the concerned residents committee were unable to be reached for comment Wednesday.