By Al Novack

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Students at West Philadelphia Catholic High held a brief rally on Monday morning in support of their school prior to classes. The school is one of four high schools the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s blue ribbon panel targeted for closure.

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Approximately 360 students gathered for about 10 minutes in front of the school. They were screaming, chanting and holding up signs that read “Keep Our School Open.”

“We’ve become orphans with no orphanage because we believe the Archdiocese, in closing our school, has put us all up for adoption,” one student said.

Forty-four elementary schools were also targeted for closure due to declining enrollment and rising costs.

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“My hope is that they keep West Catholic open because I don’t want to go to another school, especially a public school,” said another student.

Father Michael Marone, school minister, said he and his students are very passionate about West Catholic.

“We have so many good people who are interested in our school, who love our school. We have people who are vested in the school. They come into the building, they meet our kids and they say how wonderful they are,” Marone said.

He said they will aim to keep the school open. The students insist this is just the first of many rallies.

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