June 11, 2014 7:42 pm
Updated: June 11, 2014 7:54 pm

UPDATE: Teachers in Hope refuse to enter school over seismic safety concerns


Teachers at C.E. Barry Intermediate School in Hope refused to enter the school Tuesday morning over seismic safety concerns.

On Monday night, the district held an open house regarding the future of the school.

School District Superintendent Karen Nelson says trustees discussed the safety of the school and whether they would have students back at school in the fall.

Nelson says the teachers showed up at the school this morning, but did not enter the building because they were concerned about seismic safety.

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The school district claims parents have been contacted and students were sent home for the day.

“All of the parents were called as soon as possible, and the students were sent home, because we could not provide proper supervision,” says Nelson.

But after the story was published on Tuesday, some parents told Global News they were never contacted.

Kathy Turner, whose daughter goes to Grade 7, says her child along with other students was told to leave the school ground.

“People were scrambling all over town to figure out where our kids were, how do we find them and then when I called the school, the only thing they could tell me was that all parents were notified. I can assure you, I was not notified,” she says.

Turner says her daughter is a bus student and there was no way for her to get back home outside Hope on her own.

On May 27, the education board at District 78 passed the motion “to seek input from parents, staff and community in consideration of the closure of C.E. Barry Intermediate School due to seismic mitigation required for the school.”

The letter to parents and staff says, “in 2012, the Ministry of Education announced a seismic upgrade to C.E. Barry Intermediate School as it was identified as a high risk school in the event of an earthquake. Subsequently, the district had to provide evidence of the costs and needs for the upgrade. Unfortunately, due to the continued enrolment decline in the district and the excess space available, the Ministry of Education requested that alternatives be explored that are more cost effective.”

Nelson says the school is over 40 years old and has been safe all along.

Today, the school was closed because of the rotating strike action, but the school district announced that effective Thursday, it has made the decision to move students to other schools in the area for the remainder of the school year due to safety concerns.

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