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Parents protest closing of St. Ignatius Loyola

December 14, 2011 8:04:08 PM PST
If the Bishop has his way, the 104th year at St. Ignatius Loyola will be its last.

More than 600 parents, students and teachers came to the school Wednesday night hoping for a Christmas miracle, for the Bishop to reverse his decision and keep the school open.

Hundreds of people lit candles, sang and prayed outside St. Ignatius Loyola School in Hicksville.

The elementary school is one of six slated to be closed down at the end of the school year.

"We're a unified community and we'll do everything we can to make sure the school is open for another 104 years," said Dianne Ryan, a parent.

"I think we can really make a difference and we will fight and we will win," said Bridget Maloney, a student.

More than 600 parents and students packed the school cafeteria for a standing room-only meeting.

Neither officials from the diocese nor the parish priest would allow Eyewitness News cameras inside.

Students had plenty to say.

They presented a video, pleading with the Bishop to consider their high test scores, their English as a second language curriculum, and their acceptance of students with special needs, as reasons St. Ignatius Loyola should stay open.

"I hope Bishop Murphy sees this and listens to us," said Aliesha Allen, a student.

"It's kind of sad because we're all friends," said Christine Bailey, a 7th Grade student.

A spokesman for the Rockville Center Diocese called the decision to close the school "difficult" and explained: "Current K-8 enrollment is 164 students, which represents a 41 percent decline since the 2000-01 school year."

Parents are formulating a business plan to try to recruit new students and raise more money.

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