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Parents in the tiny community of Forest Grove, near 100 Mile House are fast becoming poster children for the plight of rural and urban community schools across BC.

The group is refusing to allow anyone to board up the school and remove the equipment.

The BC government closed 99 schools between 2002 and 2004. The Forest Grove school is one of 24 closures scheduled for 2005.

And there might have been even more school closures, said CUPE BC President Barry ONeill, if parents, workers and school boards in other districts had not agreed to radical cuts in the school year.

Meanwhile the Liberals continue to increase funding to private and independent schools. And other government policies have caused thousands to move away from BCs heartland, causing enrolment to drop.

ONeill commends the parents and other community members in Forest Grove and in communities in various parts of the province for taking action to save their schools.

Sometimes it takes direct action to make both media and politicians wake up to the negative effects of short-sited actions that really save a very small amount of money, but, in the long run, cause considerable harm, says ONeill.

For more information on Liberal cuts to BC schools visit http://www.cupe.bc.ca/269