Parents rally to protest Richmond school closings

Dozens of Richmond parents and their children rallied outside the Steveston offices of Liberal MLA John Yap (Richmond-Steveston) Saturday to show their opposition to the planned closing of several schools. Many parents blame the province for not providing adequate funds for education.

'They're not really asking us what we want - and it's not fair for the kids,' says student

Parents protested the planned closing of up to five Richmond schools. (David Horemans/CBC)

Dozens of Richmond parents and their children rallied outside the Steveston offices of Liberal MLA John Yap (Richmond-Steveston) Saturday to show their opposition to the planned closing of several district schools.

In order to access more provincial funds, the Richmond school district must be at 95 per cent capacity. But right now, it's at 81 per cent, so the district is planning to close four to five schools.

Many of the parents blamed the province for not providing adequate funds for education.

Holding homemade signs and chanting, "Where's Christy Clark?" protesters demanded more money for the education system.

Many brought their children to the rainy rally.

Despite the rain, dozens of parents - and kids - rallied outside the offices of Liberal MLA John Yap. (David Horemans/CBC)

The district argues it is closing schools because of changing demographics and declining enrolment.

But parents like Kim Nowitsky aren't buying it.

"They are closing schools that are well attended, that are full or near capacity like my son's school and that is disrupting a lot of people's lives," Nowitsky said.

"They're not closing the schools at the bottom of the list for capacity.

Student Brenna Hagel said she is stressed at the thought of schools closing. 

"They're not really asking us what we want … and it's not fair for the kids."

A decision on which schools will close is expected in the fall.

 With files from Bal Brach