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New West parents plan protest at high school

Rebuild New Westminster Secondary School – that’s what a group of parents want.

Rebuild New Westminster Secondary School – that’s what a group of parents want.

Last month’s letter from the New West school board to the Education Ministry about more delays in approving a new high school was the final straw for parent Danielle Connelly.

Connelly moved to the Royal City more than 14 years ago, and, at the time, she had heard a new high school was in the works. When it didn’t pan out, she thought nothing of it – she was young, newly engaged, a new high school wasn’t going to be a concern for her until she had kids, right?

Connelly’s children are now in grades 4 and 6. Like other parents in the city, Connelly said she sat back for years waiting for a new high school only to be fed excuse after excuse.

“We’ve been quiet for so long, I don’t know what will work, but sitting back quietly hasn’t worked,” she said.

Connelly and a group of parents have planned a rally for next Sunday. Residents are invited to join her at the high school and sign a petition calling on the provincial government to replace New Westminster Secondary now.

“I think this is just an opportunity to come together as a community and rally to support the teachers and the students that are there and say that we’ve got your back, we’re here, we want to support getting a new school,” she said.

The school district had expected construction to start this year but after a third delay by the ministry, even trustees are concerned the process has ground to a halt.

“This is out of my comfort zone, but it’s where we’ve been pushed to now,” Connelly said.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, April 10 at noon at the high school, at 835 Eighth St. For more info, visit the group's Facebook page here.