Catholic Diocese of Fresno decides to close school in Gustine

GUSTINE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Catholic Diocese of Fresno has decided to close a school in Gustine. The closure was announced on Wednesday and it has left the students heartbroken.

Megan Azevedo has gone to one school her entire life. It's a tradition that could be coming to an end, her 8th grade year because she might be going to a new school.

"I don't know anybody there, here is like family to me," Azevedo said.

Her family stood with her in front of Our Lady of Miracles in Gustine. The gates were locked and the school, closed.

Megan added, "I'm kind of sad but I'm hoping they'd have the heart to keep it open."

The Diocese of Fresno says it isn't likely. The closure was announced on Wednesday in a meeting. The superintendent cited two reasons: shrinking enrollment and a lack of consistent, qualified leadership or a principal willing to stay.

"We weren't given a timeline or a notification," Megan's mom, Barbara Azevedo said. "We were told we were in a crisis mode, I don't think any parent, last night, knew we were in a crisis mode."

The school was built in 1952. It closed once before in 1968 and re-opened 11 years later. Olivia Amaral is a witness to the struggle and history, repeating itself.

"It makes me want to cry," Amaral said, "I can't even imagine it, going outside and not seeing these kids on the playground."

As for Megan, her classmates and their parents. They're all holding on to hope, praying for a miracle and asking the Diocese to reconsider.

"It breaks my heart to look at them because I don't know where all of them are gonna go," Barbara Azevedo said.

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