Students, parents protest proposal to close school - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Students, parents protest proposal to close school

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Some parents, teachers, and students in Hartford oppose the closure of a school in Hartford (WFSB) Some parents, teachers, and students in Hartford oppose the closure of a school in Hartford (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

It was an emotional meeting in Hartford Monday night as young children pleaded with their school district to not close their school.

Batchelder Elementary is slated to be shut down as part of a proposed district overhaul, but on Monday night, parents and students made their pitch to save the school.

Hartford's superintendent wants to close the doors on four schools over the next three years including here at Batchelder Elementary but it's clear some parents, teachers, and students don't plan to go away quietly.

Earlier on Monday, students spent time after school making signs voicing their disappointment about the plan.

Parents held a meeting on Monday evening, ahead of the public hearing at 5:30 p.m.

Batchelder fifth-grader Mia Sampel was one of the dozens of students, parents and faculty members who addressed the board Monday night.

“It was kind of difficult at first but then I saw how supportive everybody was. So it kind of made me happy,” Sampel said.

Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said she understands the emotions involved but she feels a district-wide restructuring is necessary and closing Batchelder, Simpson Waverly, Capital Community Magnet School, and the culinary arts academy will help the district stay afloat by saving $15 million a year.

But Batchelder students, like fifth-grader Aleysha Rivera believe shutting down the school would be the wrong choice.

“I don't want to close the school because we have a lot of memories together and we just get along, and we love our education,” Rivera said.

The school board is slated to vote on the proposal on Tuesday night.

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