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School bells may fall silent

The words ran hot and passions reached the boiling point — a taste ofwhat’s to come as Toronto public school trustees take up the thornyissue of closing dozens of neighbourhood schools due to decliningenrolment.

The words ran hot and passions reached the boiling point — a taste of what’s to come as Toronto public school trustees take up the thorny issue of closing dozens of neighbourhood schools due to declining enrolment.

“Bull----! You’re f---ing lying!” yelled parent Steve Wanless Thursday, hurling an agenda at trustees as they discussed shutting down the first public school in Toronto since Mike Harris was premier.

But the jeers and drama may become routine as the Toronto District School Board finally grapples with 110 half-empty schools and the prospect of widespread school closings over the next few years — maybe 25 in 2010, warned trustee Bruce Davis, in an election year at that.

Lost amid the hubbub of closing pools at that committee meeting last Thursday was the proposal to close a Scarborough trade school in June that has seen its enrolment tumble to 213 in a building built for 750, despite millions of dollars in technical upgrades that include the most cutting-edge woodworking shop of any high school in Canada.

But the distraught crowd that gathered to plead for Timothy Eaton Business and Technical Institute, whose fate will be decided at the board meeting Wednesday, offered a mere glimpse of the battles ahead, said shaken trustees.

 
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