Students, teachers rally after 3 Sawyer schools unexpectedly close
By WFSB Staff
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -
Students and teachers from Sawyer School campuses around the state rallied Wednesday morning at the Hartford location.
The Sawyer School in Hartford and Hamden, along with the Butler Business School in Bridgeport closed over the weekend without notice, which left students that paid tuition scrambling and teachers without jobs.
The company that runs the schools has not spoken publicly about why the facility closed.
"We want justice, we want answers," said students and teachers rallying Wednesday morning.
Instead of being in class Wednesday, students were outside on Washington Street, waving their signs and braving the cold. They said they were left out in the cold after the for-profit school closed over the weekend with no warning.
"Our dreams are crushed," said Marlene Hernandez of Hartford. "We're dealing with all of this with no answers whatsoever."
Melanie Vasquez of Hartford was one of about 1,200 students who attended the schools.
"We're basically finding out we're not getting the education we were promised," she said.
Samantha Garcia of Hartford said she wants answers on why the school closed.
"No note on the door, we found out on Facebook," she said.
Some students told Eyewitness News that they received a three-sentence, unsigned letter that stated classes scheduled to start Wednesday have been "permanently suspended."
According to the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, a school is required to give a 60-day notice if its closing.
Rather the state told Eyewitness News that it was blindsided too, only receiving a brief email on Sunday.
"They should have at least told us beforehand," said Filginia Torres of Hartford. "They should have known they were going to close and if not help us get into a different school, refund our loans, they need to do something."
Some students told Eyewitness News they actually have supplies and personal belongings still in lockers in the school.
Instructors told Eyewitness News they were able to get in over the weekend, but the doors are now locked, the lights are off and even the keypad to the garage door has been recently disabled.
"We've gotten no contact from administration at all, no answers about anything," said instructor Don Lanier.
Eyewitness News tried calling the headquarters for the Sawyer School in Rhode Island, but couldn't get ahold of anyone either.
Now with no degree and with student loans still to pay, these students are wondering where they go next.
"I woke up, I'm going to school, picturing my graduation and then all of a sudden, all of the work you did is suddenly out the window," Torres said.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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