Schools should be too big to fail

Nearly all governments, businesses and personal households have had to go into debt at one point.

Dear Editor:

It is a truth: nearly all governments, businesses and personal households have had to go into debt at one point to fund or facilitate necessary gains for growth, investment or sustenance.

Our school board (School District 67) faced the same obstacle — run debt or cut spending. It was forced to cut spending.

However, the impact of cutting the spending does not have a simple outcome. The fallout effects ripple through the entire community.

I propose our schools; our communities should be deemed Too Big to Fail and allowed the opportunity to thrive.

Every school that is going to be closed is actually the centre of a community. People’s lives and energy pour into these.

Children grow allegiances to the school and are proud to wear school colours. Teachers, Parents and staff create their own support systems and networks to help shape these schools into thriving centres of growth for those they touch. They are safe places. They are known. They are what create true wealth and value.

The decision came despite the citizens of each community presenting clear and identifiable flaws in the system used for analysis of closure. A clear example can be seen in Summerland, with 1,800 signatures gathered (during the week of Spring Break when families are typically away) the citizens were not heard.

The voices were overruled.

Our trustees are handcuffed by a budget. I say: Break the Budget.

Force the government to see the situation for what it is.

Our government (whom we employ) maintains that opening a prison will be the key to bringing back schools.

Our government needs to understand that the core of our economy starts with quality schools and nurturing environments. It is not only this district that faces the closures and therefore it is not our board’s fault. The problem starts higher up.

I ask the trustees to rescind the bylaws to close the schools.

Pause and listen.

Allow time to take bold and daring action.

During this time you, the trustees, will strengthen the partnerships between your community and stakeholders. Let us all move forward with a unified voice.

Let us declare that our schools, our children matter more than conforming to Government demands.

This is the biggest asset we have. This is not just affecting this district. Let us force our government to listen to us all.

That we are all willing to take risks to save what makes us vital.

Joel Gfeller

Summerland