Ruthven public elementary school will close at the end of the school year.
Tuesday night, the Greater Essex District School Board voted 7-2 in favour of the closure.
Mandy Morris has a son in Grade 2 there. She spoke to trustees before the vote
"Please pardon my analogy, but I have lost a family member to cancer, but this process has been like a death sentence. It's like receiving the news that you have a terminal illness and your doctor tells you you have six months to live," she said. "Throughout that time, you have to remain positive and never give up hope, but you're going to die, and you know it, and there's no cure."
Ruthven teacher Nancy Armstrong asked trustees to think carefully about the implications before they voted.
"What is different about Ruthven is the culture that comes from a small community school environment. In voting to close this community school, you are voting to end an era of education that is good for everyone," she said.
Ruthven students will be transferred to Jack Miner school next fall.
Diane Stockton has a son in Grade 1 and said she'll likely switch him to the local Catholic school instead.
"The children who need a little extra help are going to lose the special teachers that they do have right now. They are saying that they will still have extra help and extra teachers at the other school, but it won't be the same," she claimed. "They won't have the same care. It's the kids that lose out."
The board said it had to close the school due to declining enrollment. Ruthven is 64 per cent full while Jack Miner is less than 60 per cent full.
The board will submit three business cases to the province which could result in further changes.
One proposal is to build a new school that would include grades junior kindergarten through Grade 12 in Kingsville.