In total seriousness on April 1st, the NB Minister of Education, Kelly Lamrock, announced that he had decided to keep the North End schools open (an issue I declared my stance on in a previous blog post). This is despite the fact that education council members at the local level recommended to close the two schools.
Lamrock’s reasoning was that these were community schools, and removing them would “disempower” the communities. Plus, money isn’t everything, and there’s a projected population boom coming, soooo, not such a good time to close schools. Duh. Still, the decision was shocking because Lamrock actually listened to people (of reason) who are not being used to listened to.
It was only a few years ago that the school district argued for these two schools to become community schools, a special status under the provincial government, because of their importance to the community. To argue that we don’t need these schools anymore a short time later is wrong and stupid, and, if this were a commercial company involved, grounds for fraud. It is simply horrible that any of these people supported closing the schools. I wonder if any of these ever walk through the North End, with a purpose other than a photo shoot as seen in my last blog post.
Money and supposedly better facilities at a bigger building is always declared as a benefit of closing smaller schools. However, this was a unique situation where this argument does not apply.
While Millidgeville North has green fields nearby, so do Lorne School and Hazen-White. Lorne, one of the city’s newest school buildings actually, uses the city-owned Shamrock Park down the street, which is about a distance equal to the distance between the Millidgeville North building and its green fields. Furthermore, students living near their middle school can attend after school activities, something you cannot do when you need to catch a bus home right after school. Lorne actually has a city community centre attached to it.
There are some stupid mothers in Millidgeville who are disappointed that the schools are staying open because they are afraid their precious children are going to end up in trouble by going to a school in a neighbourhood where the police are taking active action against crime. There was a police raid. It was actually great for students. While the police were outside making the streets safer, all the students were kept safe inside, enjoying free pizza provided by the police. To the average middle school student, especially in a poorer neighbourhood, this was probably the highlight of a week. If you asked the average middle school student if they’d be in favour of more police action to make the neighbourhood safer that keeps them inside enjoying free pizza, I’m sure the results would be heavily slanted towards… YES.
So the more police action happening, dear beloved concerned mothers of Millidgeville, the safer your precious children will be. Besides, this is a city issue, and all the same types of issues affect all schools. A larger school, such as Millidgeville North Middle School, would have been probably been a larger centre of these problems, simply due to a larger student population.
By the way, I am qualified to speak on all sides of this issue. I grew up in Millidgeville, and I attended Lorne School and was regularly encouraged by the teachers there. I got good marks, and went on to graduate from Saint John High School with High Honours, and graduate in the First Division with a university degree in Computer Science. I am now pursuing my Master of Computer Science. My most recent school project has resulted in me receiving calls from media all over the world looking for interviews.
It’s too bad that I went to Lorne School in the North End and not a “better” school. I might have actually amounted to something.