Children attending two Christchurch kura kaupapa Maori earmarked for a merger are said to be upset and unhappy about the Government plans.
An elder or koka, Alamein Connell, works at one of the schools and says the pupils have been through enough following the earthquakes.
While the future of Te Whanau Tahi and Whakapumau i Te Reo Tuturu o Waitaha is decided, Ms Connell hopes the students will look after each other.
She says the children are upset, but says it's up to the older students to support the younger ones.
Ms Connell says when she's in the classrooms, the children are very happy because she is their koka.
The planned merger of the kura kaupapa Maori is part of major education changes proposed for Christchurch.
A Ministry of Education assessment shows that since the earthquakes the number of children attending Whakapumau i Te Reo Tuturu o Waitaha has dropped from 123 to 78.
While the number of children attending Te Whanau Tahi has not changed and remains strong at 73.