Nfld. & Labrador

Vote to close Whitbourne Elementary quashed by judge

After taking the issue all the way to court, parents of Whitbourne Elementary students have won their case against the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to keep the school open.

Tears of joy in courtroom as judge rules that parents win case to keep school open in September

Parents of Whitbourne Elementary students have won their case against the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to keep the school open. 1:12

After taking the issue all the way to court, parents of Whitbourne Elementary students have won their case against the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to keep the school open.

Parents have been fighting an NLESD decision since April, when trustees voted to close Whitbourne Elementary along with five other schools in the province.

On Friday, Justice Valerie Marshall agreed with the argument that parents did not have enough time or information to prepare for the vote.

Worthwhile fight

When the decision was made in court, parents celebrated with hugs and tears of joy.

"I think we finally got a process that works for the people," said Wade Smith, chair of the Committee to Save Whitbourne Elementary.

Smith, who has a grandson at the school, told CBC after the decision that parents did the right thing by pushing the matter all the way to the Supreme Court. 

Wade Smith, Chair of the Committee to save Whitbourne Elementary, has a grandson at the school. (CBC)

 "It was worth every minute, every minute of fighting. Every minute of gathering material. It was a great effort by everybody involved," he said. 

 "I think what we need now is to go back and look at the flawed process in this province. Look at the other provinces and the way they do school reviews."

Parents in Whitbourne were so pleased with the news, they held a motorcade through the community Friday afternoon. 

With files from Glenn Payette