‘Absolute farce’; UCDSB ARC member resigns

BROCKVILLE – Calling the upcoming public consultation sessions an “absolute farce,” a member of the committee from Athens reviewing the future of the Leeds-Grenville group of public schools has resigned.

In a Facebook posting to the Ontario Alliance Against School Closures page Wednesday afternoon, Michelle Taylor calls the ARC (accommodation review committee) process underway that could see 29 schools closed “undiplomatic” and “hostile.”

Taylor is a member of ARC3 – the committee reviewing school closures in Grenville, Brockville and Athens, which includes the Pineview Public School.

“I am further disturbed by the numerous roadblocks put in front of concerned citizens attempting in good faith to participate in your process,” Taylor wrote.

Taylor has been concerned about the lack of “true feedback” being allowed at public engagement sessions by the Upper Canada District School Board.

She accuses the school board of putting up a number of roadblocks, including picking who can speak, the number of speakers and having them register ahead of time with disclosure of materials to be presented.

Taylor also suggests there have been no applications to speak at the first session for the Grenville-Brockville family of schools on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016.

“It certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge opposition to your proposed school closures. If you genuinely wanted to encourage a conversation with the community dragged into this nightmare, you have failed completely,” she wrote.

Taylor is calling on other ARC members across Ontario to also resign. “Something started in poor faith with the little respect for the participants will never yield a fair result.”

A call to the superintendent of schools for the Brockville area, David Coombs, requesting comment for this story was not returned.

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