West End Warriors Demand Accountability in School Closure Decision

The West End Warriors are calling for immediate action from the Ministry of Education, highlighting a series of delays and unfulfilled commitments regarding the future of West End Primary School, a cornerstone of the Sandys Parish community with a legacy dating back to 1869.

In a July 11, 2023, packed town hall meeting of Sandys parishioners and a cross-section of residents from across Bermuda, the group stood in virtual solidarity to deliver a strong message of unwavering support for making West End Primary the parish primary school for Sandys Parish.

At the same meeting, Premier David Burt and Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain made specific promises to the supporters of the “Save West End Primary From Closure” movement, including:

A review and re-scoring of the 19 Specific Study Factors identified in the December 2020 Proposal for the Introduction of Parish Primary Schools.
The addition of a History & Legacy category to the evaluation criteria.
The formation of a History & Legacy committee, consisting of impartial experts.

These actions were to be completed within three months. However, as of February 20, 2024, the Ministry’s correspondence has only extended a belated invitation for a one-hour online engagement meeting, without clarity on the process or consideration for the substantial historical significance and community impact of West End Primary.

This lack of progress and transparency, particularly in comparison to the proposed closure in favor of Somerset Primary School, a historically segregated institution, has sparked outrage among the West End Warriors and the broader community. The delay and vague communication from the Ministry not only disrespects the passionate pleas of Sandys Parish’s parents and leaders but also undermines the rich heritage and educational legacy of West End Primary.

The West End Warriors assert that this stall tactic by the Government is unacceptable. “We urge all of Bermuda, especially the Sandys Parish community, to demand accountability and transparency from the Government,” says Ellen-Kate Horton, spokesperson for the West End Warriors. “It is crucial to honour the clear mandate from the July 11 town hall meeting to preserve West End Primary as the Parish Primary School for Sandys Parish. We refuse to stand by as the educational future of our children and the legacy of our community are disregarded. We call upon the Ministry of Education to act with the urgency and respect this matter deserves, fulfilling its promises without further delay.”

The West End Warriors stand united in our fight for justice, equity, and respect for the history and future of our community.

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