The struggle to save Nesbitt Elementary School from closure began eight months ago and is still going strong. Yesterday, parents presented briefs to the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) commissioners in hopes of saving the school, which boasts a very successful French immersion program. Anglophone Julie Barlow along with francophone Jean-François Desmarais and other parents of Nesbitt’s governing board presented concrete facts, but also convincing arguments why Nesbitt should stay open.
Lately, there has been much talk of the lack of bilingualism and the tolerance of unilingualism among high-ranking public officials in Canada. Many parents of Nesbitt do not understand why the EMSB would want to close down a school that counters the unilingualism trend by producing students who can function fully and fluently in Canada’s two official languages. Time and time again, studies have shown the advantages of learning more than one language. As a matter of fact, a recent article in Québec Science explains the virtues of learning more than one language and features Nesbitt School as a prime example of a school that has the right solution to the problem of unilingualism.
On Monday, December 5th, Julie was interviewed by Global TV’s Tim Sargeant on the issue.
On Tuesday, December 6th, Julie and Jean-François Desmarais, whose daughters attend Nesbitt, were interviewed by Maxime Coutié for Radio Canada’s morning show, C’est bien meilleur le matin. Listen to the interview here »