Meeting on Vets High School Closure ends abruptly - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Meeting on Vets High School Closure ends abruptly

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By: Alexandra Cowley

It was day 2 for the public outcry meetings on the proposed closure of Warwick Vets High School. The emotion and crowds Tuesday night, even bigger than they were Monday.

Parents, students, and teachers speaking to convince the school committee to keep Vets open. Except, the one hundred people who signed up to speak, weren't able to.

There were 20 more people left to have their 3 minutes of public comment, but at 9:30 PM, the school committee took a vote to end the meeting, which meant those people who waited nearly 3 hours to have their voices heard, wasted their time. 

The auditorium at Toll Gate High School nearly reached it's capacity of 600 Tuesday night. All because the school committee is looking to close Vets, along with Gorton and Aldrich Middle Schools. Enrollment is way down and resources are scarce. The school committee is looking to turn the Vets building would into a consolidated middle school to save money. The Vets students would be dispersed across the city's other two high schools.

It's an emotional proposal that's invited hours and hours of public outcry, but Tuesday night, the committee voted quickly to not extend the meeting. So quickly, one school committee member didn't even know there was a vote.

School Committee Member Eugene Nadeau said, "I didn't even know there was a vote."

In an email sent out to parents, it said the meeting could go until 10:30 PM to allow everyone to speak. But it said it would be up to the discretion of the school committee. Majority voted to end it and not let everyone speak.

A decision on the closure of Vets High School is expected at the school committee's December 10th meeting.

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