EDITORIAL: School closures in Parksville Qualicum Beach

We don’t believe you could find one school board trustee or administrator who relishes the thought of closing even one school

Elected officials and top-level administrators cannot view the public’s increased need for consultation as a nuisance.

At the same time, certain factions of the public cannot keep screaming for more consultation, or complaining they want more and more input, just because they don’t like the ultimate decisions.

Closing schools is a big deal. We don’t believe you could find one school board trustee or administrator who relishes the thought of closing even one school.

There are spaces for 6,000 students in this district. There are 4,000 students in this district. We are told those numbers aren’t going to improve for at least the next 10 years.

The last time the issue of school closures raised its head, the public felt blindsided. And from what we can remember, rightfully so. That is not the case this time.

The school board and administration have gone above and beyond to inform and listen to the public this time around. Numerous public meetings and calls for input have dominated our pages for months. Frankly, if you didn’t know this was coming, if you weren’t aware the school district wanted to hear from you, then you haven’t been paying attention.

The recommendations for specific closures are now out there, as detailed in our story today and reported first on pqbnews.com. Trustees will speak to those recommendations tonight (7 p.m. in the Parksville council chambers at city hall).

The closure of any school can be an emotional issue for community members, we get that. Schools are often the social gathering point for a town or neighbourhood, especially when they are centrally located. But the writing is on the wall (the demographics, both now and for the next decade).

What would be helpful now is a look forward, some ideas about what can be done with closed schools. If trustees and administrators drag their heels on this, if they allow schools to become boarded-up, grafitti-laden eyesores used by squatters and partiers, then they have neglected their duties to their communities.

As painful as school closures can be, perhaps some positives can come from the community or private-enterprise use of these facilities.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

Parksville-area thieves target catalytic converters

RCMP: ‘We’re getting the same thing in terms of theft of gas’

Courtenay-Alberni Liberal candidate discusses Trudeau’s ‘brownface’ controversy

Gowans: ‘I would say it’s disappointing for sure. It was racist, as the Prime Minister admitted to’

RCMP: No timeline for update on fatal hit-and-run in Parksville

Complexity of case a factor in length of the investigation

Mount Arrowsmith Brewing takes silver at World Beer Awards

Winning IPA made with centennial, citra and amarillo hops

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read