Pat Mella resigns from P.E.I. Public Schools Branch

Pat Mella resigns from P.E.I. Public Schools Branch

P.E.I. Education Minister Doug Currie has confirmed that Pat Mella, a member of the board of directors of the Public Schools Branch, has resigned.

Mella was one of three board members tasked with making decisions regarding the proposed school closures of Georgetown Elementary, Belfast Consolidated, St. Jean Elementary in Charlottetown, St. Louis Elementary and Bloomfield Elementary.

On Monday, at a public meeting attended by hundreds of parents, the board announced that it would recommend two of the five schools close — Georgetown and St. Jean.

Then on Tuesday, P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan announced his government would not support closing any of the schools. 

CBC P.E.I. has obtained what appears to be Mella's resignation letter. 

'Incredible display of personal disrespect'

"I was basically thrown under the bus by your Government. Despite the months of stress created by this assignment, we could have avoided almost all of it by being advised by your Government that you would not be closing any schools," the letter reads.

The letter, which appears to be signed by Pat Mella goes on, "While I was being shouted down with obscenities from the crowd and escorted to my car by security, you were preparing a press release that would make our decisions null and unnecessary."

The final paragraph reads, "Your Government has taken the credit for no school closures by ignoring the decisions of the School Board of Trustees. I have no faith that the other Board recommendations will be handled any differently. This experience has been an incredible display of personal disrespect by every member of your Cabinet. Therefore I am submitting my resignation as a School Board trustee effective immediately."

'True display of public service'

In an emailed statement, Doug Currie responded by saying, "I want to thank Pat Mella for her work as a director of the board of the Public Schools Branch. The School Review process was an unprecedented level of engagement and I appreciate the efforts of the directors – it was a true display of public service ... I have the utmost respect for this work"

The minister reiterated that it is cabinet that is responsible for determining school closures.

CBC News has reached out to Pat Mella for comment, but has not yet received a response. 

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