People enjoying a lunch outdoors at Library Square today (July 26) were surprised to find themselves in the middle of a flash mob. The participants—students from Vancouver’s Gladstone secondary—convened to protest the potential closure of the school.
The event was attended by Adrian Dix, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway. In a memo handed out by Dix at the event, Gladstone was touted as “one of the best public schools in Canada”.
After the event, Dix chatted with the Straight.
“It’s [Grade] 8 to 12, and just to put it in context, no school this size has ever been closed in British Columbia—and there’s a reason for that,” he said. “You’ve got a diverse community that comes together, and you’ve got a very loving school atmosphere."
Dix added that Gladstone ranks 11th of Vancouver's 18 public secondary schools in enrollment.
He also explained that the flash mob was only the beginning of a series of events highlighting what the school was capable of creatively, with hopes of an event around the school’s award-winning robotics program.
“There are more students on the East Side," Dix said. "This is a fact. Statistically, it doesn’t make sense to close Gladstone as well, and what we lose will be enormous.”
Gladstone provides six classrooms for adult education in Vancouver.
The school also boasts a fully fledged creative writing program with its own publication, the Gladstone Review. Published annually, the parent-advisory-council-assisted review celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Gladstone remains one of two high schools listed for potential closure in Vancouver.