RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – More than 200 people turned out late Saturday afternoon to protest the proposed closure of three elementary schools in Richmond. A group calling itself Richmond Schools Stand United organized the rally in a park just steps away from Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap’s constituency office.
The protest came on the heels of a superintendent’s report that recommends the closure of Woodward, McKay, and Dixon next year. Organizers say the news was a wake-up call for parents and the community, but should also serve as a warning to the provincial government.
“Seeing the faces here today, Richmond has honestly woken up and they’ve seen how devastating these impacts are on their community,” explains Kelly Greene, founder of Richmond Schools Stand United. “We all realize how deeply in trouble the public education system is and how important it is to keep our voices loud and united in advocacy.”
She warns the potential closures are short-sighted and don’t take growth into account. The superintendent’s report cites declining enrollment, even though the schools slated for closure are at or near capacity. A trustee’s vote on October 17th will ultimately determine the fate of the three schools.