Comment 77599

By John Neary (registered) | Posted May 30, 2012 at 14:11:22

Dear Trustee Bishop,

I write to you as a resident of Ward 2 and a father of a preschool child. Most importantly, I write as a person who attended public schools in Ontario and who deeply believes in public education.

I am aghast at the positions you have recently taken on school closures and the new HWDSB headquarters. You sold out your own constituents and the poorest neighbourhoods in the city by voting to close all three lower-city high schools and replace them with a single mega-school. You then compounded the error by voting to disband the task force investigating downtown sites for the HWDSB offices.

You failed to challenge the unspoken assumptions that have led the HWDSB to make decisions that hurt the most vulnerable communities in Hamilton. Why was a merger between Ancaster High and Sir Allan MacNab not considered? Why could programs of choice (e.g. French Immersion, International Baccalaureate) not be moved from oversubscribed high schools to those that have empty space? Why was Delta allowed to accumulate so much deferred maintenance while Westdale (a building of similar age and construction) was not? The only plausible answer is that the HWDSB does not care about children in underprivileged neighbourhoods.

You have attempted to frame these decisions as being forced by the Ministry of Education, but your duty as a Trustee is to vote for what is right and to speak out against what is incorrect and unjust. You have failed to do so, and have thereby enabled decisions that will harm our City and its residents for decades to come.

I pledge my moral, financial, and organizational support to your opponents in 2014.

Sincerely yours,

John Neary

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