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Trustees encouraged not to be slaves to Ministry of Education

Dear Editor;
I was an attendee at the recent committee of the whole meeting of the Rainy River District School Board (RRDSB) for accommodation review.
I was stunned and unimpressed by the administration’s recommendation of closure of Sturgeon Creek School (SCS) and Crossroads School (CRS) and the building of a consolidated “superschool” in Emo.
The proposed school would have a student population of over 450. The detrimental effects on student well being of large schools is well documented. The research and prior experiences in the United States and Southern Ontario clearly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of large schools, both in not meeting the predicted financial gains and not properly meeting the educational and social needs of children. Having a large school in Emo will be harmful to all of our children.
Furthermore, what was concerning to me at the meeting were comments by both the trustees and senior administration of the board that they felt that their hands were tied and that they feel forced by the ministry of education into making certain decisions. To me this is should not be an issue.
The trustees and administration of the RRDSB need to stand up to the ministry. The trustees of the RRDSB do not work for the ministry. They were elected by the citizens of the Rainy River District to serve the best interests of the public. They need to represent the people that elected them. They need to be our voice in the education system. They do not need to follow what the ministry says.
The ministry of education will never cut education in our region, we are not at risk of losing all education here. Who cares if the ministry of education is not pleased with the trustees? The trustee’s job is not to please the ministry, they are here to work for their constituents. We need solid leadership. We need people in positions of power to just say “no” to the ministry.
Constant civil obedience is detrimental to society and not a lesson we want to teach our children.
To the trustees of the RRDSB; please do not be slaves to the wishes of those sitting in desks in Toronto, please do what is best for the students and families right here in our district, please listen to the people who elected you and please vote in favour of our kids and our schools.
Jackie McCormick,
Stratton, ON