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TERRACE, B.C. Five school closures announced here last week are a sign of social decay brought on by the Campbell Liberals, says CUPE.

A community that shuts down its schools is a dying community, CUPE BC president Barry ONeill has said about the closures by Coast Mountains School District 82. Your better choice, your only sane choice is to say NO to the Liberals.

ONeill was reacting to news that the five schools would close in 2002-03. The board says it is because of declining enrollment, empty classrooms and inadequate funding, but CUPE wants facts and figures to prove it.

This likely will mean bigger class sizes, more busing of students, more latchkey kids and fewer jobs, he said. You are doing exactly the wrong thing for your district and for the children.

School closures are a social indicator, ONeill said. Sociologists tell us that when such integral institutions are sacrificed it is a huge blow to the community.

Does the board want to be responsible for pushing this community under? he asked. Do you want to allow the Campbell Liberals to realize their plans to privatize the school system and give away public control of our childrens education?

ONeill was also angered that the district will not open the new Mountainview

Elementary School here.

The board said the decision to close schools and cancel a new one was difficult, ONeill said. Its next difficult decision should be to resign in protest.

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Contact:
Ron Verzuh, CUPE Communications,
604-785-1422.