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Lively students fear school closure will 'rip out' heart of community

Dozens of students at Lively Secondary School in Greater Sudbury, Ont., walked out of class on Thursday afternoon to send a message to the Rainbow District School Board.

'We need more generations coming through this school' student says

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      It wasn't your typical school day at Lively Secondary School as students walked out of class to protest the potential closure of the school by the Rainbow District School Board. The CBC's Olivia Stefanovitch was there and spoke with some of the students. 4:43
      Dozens of students at Lively District Secondary School in Greater Sudbury, Ont., walked out of class on Thursday afternoon to send a message to the Rainbow District School Board. 

      "Keep the school open and keep believing," grade 9 student Carlos St. Clair said as he marched out of the building.

      St. Clair's school is one of 12 that could be shut down because of the public school board's $3.6 million funding shortfall.

      If the plans ago ahead, grade 11 student Mikaela Matthews estimates she could face a two hour bus ride to get to her new classes, and worries she may have to quit her job.

      "It's going to make it a lot harder because I work in Lively and I won't be able to take the bus to my job," Matthews said.

      The biggest fear Grade 11 student Andrew Gorman has is the consequences the closure could have on his community. 

      "Lively's based around the school," Gorman said. 

      "So they're trying to like rip out our hearts."

      'We've got our own identity'

      The student demonstration received a lot of support from passersby who beeped their horns for the cause. 

      One driver even stopped to hand out boxes of Timbits to the young people while they chanted: "Save our school. Save our school."

      Grade 12 student Kieran Gullon-Ruest was also in the crowd.

      "We don't want to be like Lockerby kids or Sudbury Secondary kids," Gullon-Ruest said.

      "We've got our own identity."

      Gullon-Ruest, who has returned for a second year of grade 12, said he only needs to complete one more credit to graduate.

      But he plans to stay the entire year because he said he enjoys the experience so much.

      "I've been coming here for five years and I really hope they keep it open," Gullon-Ruest said.

      "We need more generations coming through this school."

      The fate of Lively District Secondary School will be known in the new year.

      About the Author

      Olivia Stefanovich

      Reporter

      Olivia Stefanovich is a network reporter for CBC News based in Toronto. She previously worked in Saskatchewan and northern Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @CBCOlivia. Send story ideas to olivia.stefanovich@cbc.ca.