100 gather outside premier's office to protest schools vote
A crowd of 100 children and parents filled the foyer of the Shaw Building in downtown Charlottetown on Monday morning to protest a vote to close several rural schools.
The protest comes after trustees of the Eastern School District voted on motions Friday to close 11 schools, deciding three should stay open. They voted to close eight, all in rural areas.
Cabinet will now make the final decision on which schools should close.
Representatives of the P.E.I. Rural Alliance, CUPE and Georgetown Mayor Peter Llewellyn met with Premier Robert Ghiz at his fifth-floor office in the Shaw Building on Monday morning, while chants of "Bring down Ghiz," "Ghiz is a liar" and "One-Term Ghiz" echoed through the building.
Ghiz has said he would respect the school board's decision about which schools should close. Speaking on CBC Radio's Island Morning Monday, he held out only a small hope to those looking to save the rural schools.
"We are definitely going to be respectful of the decisions that were made, or the recommendations that were made," said Ghiz.
"Most likely, as I've said in the past, we will be supporting what the school board has recommended, unless we see something that is detrimental to what we believe is our long-term vision for the province."
Ghiz did not give a timetable for a decision on the schools. The board recommended they be closed at the end of this school year, and students be moved to new schools in September.