P.E.I. school closure recommendations strike a nerve: Your comments

Recommendations to close five P.E.I. schools — and rezoning across much of the current system — has been met with a lot of reaction.

'My heart is broken, we need our school,' reads one comment on school closures

A meeting on the proposed changes held Tuesday was packed — with many parents wanting to weigh in on the report (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

Recommendations to close five P.E.I. schools — and rezoning across much of the current system — has been met with a lot of reaction.

On Tuesday, the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch released its draft recommendations on how to address problems of Island schools that are either underutilized or overcrowded.

The recommendations include closing Georgetown Elementary, Belfast Consolidated, St. Jean Elementary in Charlottetown, St. Louis Elementary and Bloomfield Elementary — something that garnered many comments on CBC Prince Edward Island's Facebook page.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style.)

In the defense of individual schools

Many people spoke out for individual schools.

"Bloomfield has the best elementary education and staff! Such a fantastic stepping stone. So sad," wrote Ashley Arsenault.

"I've had my son in a few different elementary level schools and St. Louis was by far the best. I've known people to move into the district because of the school. I'd rather my tax dollars go to our children's education than to lining the pockets of politicians and their friends. The cost of this 'study' would have helped out our schools more than this whole joke of a process," wrote Ellen Harper.

"My heart is broken, we need our school. Belfast needs the school to keep our community together," wrote Donna MacKenzie.

Impact on children 

Other comments focused on how children would be affected by the proposed changes.

"The emotional toll on the children being switched as well as the children who have all these new classmates could also be felt deeply," wrote Hailey Dawn Gallant.

"A school in a small community is without a doubt part of a child's identity. There are numerous reports on children's educational setbacks due to moving schools," said Brent Chaisson.

"It isn't easy and all the kids who are going to be split up and away from their friends, the jobs that are being lost, is terrible — especially for up west. It's horrible and sad," wrote Kelly Gaudet.

According to government statistics, Georgetown Elementary is operating at just 28 per cent capacity. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

In defense of closures

Others agree with the school closure recommendations

"Sad to see [Belfast School] close but it's no longer feasible to keep it open," Denise Vincent-Conway wrote, saying she attended in the 80s. "Costs a lot to maintain a school that size."

 "Very smart! We simply do not have enough students to keep these schools open!" wrote Marlene Hunt.

"The kids will still have an education getting bused to a new school," wrote Andrew Hardy. "Kids are resilient new friends will be made. Don't worry about it."