When you have children with mental health struggles, Parkview Secondary School has the qualities necessary to accommodate those children in a safe environment to continue their path to education.
By Cheryl Hobbins
Published March 14, 2014
Since I began to advocate for Parkview Secondary School, I was able to learn about the past history when all this began with the decision to close.
Many people have focused on the Provincial school funding formula, past stats, and other relevant numbers relating to financial monies from the Province. I have read most everything out there to learn that end of it.
What I wish to share is the realities faced by my family within the Education system we have.
My youngest child was a success, a Parkview student who now is working full time and loves life.
My middle child (I.E.P.) was enrolled in Sir John A McDonald and left the school system altogether. There were not enough resources or supports to keep her focused there. It was just a resource room with students able to leave the regular classroom to be more structured with an EA present.
My eldest child, if Parkview SS was an option, would have had the opportunity that my youngest had. With the available necessary qualified staffing, true vision of principal Paul Beattie and the perseverance of this team, my eldest child would have created a path in life, to feel self worth, and acceptance within the specialized framework of Parkview, and completed his education.
I am 100 percent sure that the stats of reality is worth much more than a forecasted funding formula, once you take a closer look at each individual student that Parkview represented. This place was a "diamond in the rough", and has long been ignored by the HWDSB.
I was a constant advocate for my children for just under 30 years and know many other individuals who also reflect on how different their life may have been if there was a Parkview SS available to them.
A super school is farthest from truly accommodating children with special needs. The population of 1300 plus is not going to benefit anyone from Parkview, only push them further out the back door!
Then let's calculate costs statistically, and let's discuss for example: unemployment, social welfare, crime, delinquency, addictions, loss of support for mental health, increased hospital and medical costs, and so on. I can give you a personal, specific example of each.
When you have children with mental health struggles, Parkview SS has the qualities necessary to accommodate those children in a safe environment to continue their path to education. This was a vehicle to reaching our children.
Do you really think a demolition permit and a transitional plan is the answer? Obviously the HWDSB and trustees are not well educated when it comes to children's mental health and their future as an important part of society.
I truly believe their sights are set on financial gain and numbers with dollar signs only. It would be impossible after 30 years to see it any different now in 2014!
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