CRAFTON, Pa. (KDKA) – A petition is going around in an effort to save St. Philip School in Crafton
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh recently announced the 106-year-old elementary school will merge with St. Margaret of Scotland in Green Tree. They will use the St. Margaret campus.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 389 New Coronavirus Cases, Increasing County Total To 94,501
People in Crafton are heartbroken, but the community doesn’t want the school’s story to end now.
“We refer to this school as the neighborhood jewel,” said Gregory Begg, whose seven children went to St. Philip.
Parents and community members were shocked when the diocese announced the school would close and merge with St. Margaret.
“I think shock would probably be the first one to use and then next was blindsided,” said Alexis Barone-Katze, whose child goes to St. Philip.
A group of parents that includes Barone-Katze and Colin Wrabley appealed the closure. They believe the bishop’s decree is legally invalid. They said no input was given from those who would be impacted by the closure.
“The process that led to the decision was flawed in every respect. Not transparent, input from all corners of our school and parish communities were not asked for input,” said Wrabley, whose child is in seventh grade at the school.READ MORE: Allegheny Health Network Holding Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Pittsburgh Mills Mall
The group also started a petition, which already has 2,400 signatures.
“We need to help people and give them an opportunity to voice their concerns and have a platform to share with the diocese about why we feel this was just invalid,” said Barone-Katze.
The group is following its faith and not closing the book on the “neighborhood jewel.”
“We owe all of the generations of St. Philip’s students and families and parents this fight,” Wrabley said.
The diocese also announced St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin in Whitehall will merge with St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Pleasant Hills. Students will use the St. Gabriel campus.
Bishop David Zubik said the decision to merge these schools was made in an effort to strengthen resources for students.MORE NEWS: Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin Signs 3-Year Contract Extension