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Councillor Says One Community Being Pitted Against the Other
(Tuesday, March 26/2002)-- Councillor Sue Uteck said today she is concerned that recent media coverage regarding proposed school closures is pitting the north and south end communities against each other.
Councillor Uteck said "Biased media coverage has pitted a north end school against a south end school. This issue is leaning towards a final decision-- what will be easier to close, a white Franco phone school or a predominantly black inner-city school?"
Halifax Regional School Board is looking at closing Ecole Beaufort, a French immersion school, and St, Mary's School, both located in the south end; and Joseph Howe School in the north end.
Councillor Uteck said the Parent Review Committee has recommended that there be no school closures at this time.
"However, School Board members have insinuated that because this (Joseph Howe School) is a predominantly black inner-city school, they doubt a closure will take place. But what about the others?" she said.
Councillor Uteck said "Parents and the community have based their arguments to keep all schools open on sound, actual advice. For example, there is a net shortage of minus-two classrooms on the peninsula, but there has never been a report by the Board stating this. In the case of Ecole Beaufort, French immersion has 96 per cent of children from the catchment area. There is a definite need for this school."
The Councillor said the school closure issue is being very divisive and "the last thing we need is community fighting community. We need schools, not local wars."
Councillor Sue Uteck