By Alex Nunes
Providence, R.I. – Providence will shutter two schools to address a drop in enrollment and the high cost of maintaining facilities.
The school board voted last night to close Feinstein High School and Perry Middle School over the objections of students, parents and teachers.
Students and teachers have pleaded with the Providence School Board not to close Perry Middle School, which takes up two city blocks in a tough neighborhood in South Providence.
Stephanie Cannady, the mother of a Perry Middle School student, says she grew up in Boston where the loss of neighborhood schools enflamed gang rivalries.
"I was a product of bussing and bullying because south Boston didn't like us," Cannady said. "And this is what's going to happen to these Hartford projects going into other neighborhoods. Unfortunately it's reality."
School board members say they regret the need to close any schools, but they have to face another reality: the district doesn't have the $35-million it would take to keep Perry open. They voted to close both Perry and Feinstein High School at the end of the school year.