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LETTER: Wrong to separate siblings when they head off to school

Students heading to school.
Students heading to school.

The fact the school board wants to separate our children from siblings has me a total wreck.

I have five great-grandchildren who have been told they can’t go to school together. Two little girls go to Elm Street School. Both of them are doing great and love the school and teachers.

When my granddaughter went to register the third girl, she was told she would have to go to Greenfield.

My granddaughter has been driving the other two to and from school, bringing all the children with her.

The little one is still four and won’t be five until July. She is looking forward to going with her sisters. We have been trying very hard to tell the school board they would be separating a family.

Is it not the early years when children learn the most? Where they learn to respect and admire and trust the teachers and develop social skills as well?

The other two girls love school, and the youngest is all excited. They feel happy and safe at their school and she wants to be part of it.

The options we were given were: pull the other two out of the school where they are doing well. Moving was also suggested.

If Raina was to go to Greenfield, she would have to catch the bus, with I don’t know who, she would be getting home before the others and coming home to an empty house because the times don’t line up. When this was mentioned, the reply we got was “That’s not my problem.”

In trying to work things out with Greenfield, my granddaughter said she would have to bring Raina a little late and pick her up early. The answer: “Unacceptable.”

What kind of a parent would let their five-year-old walk down a busy street, which she would have to cross alone, if God forbid, something happened? And yes, things can happen. The parent would be heartbroken and probably charged with neglect.

This is a terrible situation making one choose whose safety is more important. The two little girls, nine and six years old waiting outside the school for their mother to pick them up, or the five-year-old alone.

It is a parent’s nightmare.

This little Island is not as safe as it used to be. The world is changing. There are bad people everywhere. We are not immune. We have to look out for our children. It frightens me to the core.

People hurt and even steal innocent children. All over Canada, P.E.I. is not that safe that we should not be watchful. We are our children’s only advocates.

So I’m hoping someone will realize, the children, the family unit, must endure. Please do not separate the girls and separate this lovely family.

There is so much more to say. But, as you can tell, I’m not that good at writing.

 

Carol Bryant

Summerside, P.E.I.

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