Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of updates over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been working with some parents regarding some concerns within the district. I’ll have another post up soon, but while you wait you can check out the parent watch forum for latest articles of concern to education and parental authority.
I’d also like to remind everyone of the Board meeting on Tuesday at 6:00PM in the Central Office. I have had a quick look at the agenda, and there are no policy changes. Highlights include info on all of the Christmas activities being put on in the district’s schools, and a budget report for 2017/2018.
I hope that given all that has been happening in our province, from the passing of Bill-24, the ridiculous implementation of ‘gender neutral’ bathrooms in SCHS north of Edmonton, and the lack of concern Eggen has shown for the life of a child in Calgary spurs you on to see the importance of attending Board meetings. The family is under attack, and it is coming from our elected officials.
Last Tuesday I had the privilege of attending the first board meeting for MHPSD since the elections. I initially stated that it started at 6pm, and then after checking the agenda, corrected myself, and said it started at 6:15pm. That was apparently actually a mix up on the agenda, as I arrived at 6:15pm and the meeting had already started. I unfortunately missed the Board recognition section of the meeting.
The overall flow of the meeting was pretty standard. The first item discussed was a band field trip to Disney Park. It was approved in principle. It appeared to me to be a well organized proposal, and I think the kids will have a great opportunity, should it receive final approval.
There was then a ‘district milestones update’, and then they got into the meat of the meeting. The policy update recommendations for student fees and special needs education. The student fees policies were updated to align with Bill 1, and it was noted by the Secretary that further updates are likely to follow, as the NDP have indicated that they wish to make further changes to school fees. The details of which are as yet not known. Massini noted that he had some “editorial comments, that he would give to the secretary in private.” (Why would editorial comments need to be in private?)
Forbes also noted that she would like to see the fees policies completely re-written, rather than keep amending them. This makes sense to me, and the Board seems to all agree, but they are going to wait until all the changes from Edmonton have been completed, and use amendments as a stop gap until that time. Forbes elaborated a bit on what she foresaw in changes to the wording of the policies, in regards to the section having to do with special needs.
Forbes stated that “Special Needs Education” should be called “Special Rights Education”, because these children have special rights to education. I did a bit of a Spock face to that comment, as it seemed rather Animal Farmesq. It brought to mind the quote from Animal Farm by George Orwell that says “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Now, I do think that children with special needs, do have special accommodations do to their particular circumstances, but I am unaware of any rights that they have that other students do not. I also do not have 20 years of experience on the board, so perhaps I am missing something. I’m a bit too cynical to draw my own conclusions, as to whether these wording changes would be helpful or not to the special needs policy in MHPSD, so I’ve put a poll at the bottom, so that you can let me know how you feel about it.
After approving the revisions to policy 650, the second in a series of “accountability” reports. These reports are based on the results of survey questions asked of staff, students, and parents, on where the district stands on various metrics. The results for this report are in the attachment documents for the agenda, and are fairly self explanatory, however how sampling was taken, and what questions were asked is not available. This may have been given in September’s report, but I was not at that meeting. I would be really curious as to how sampling was conducted.
There was a brief discussion on nominations for various committees, (those elections have not happened yet,) and then it was into a presentation from Student services. The student services presentation focused on special needs….I mean special rights education. The bulk of the discussion was around Tier 4 students, and what their support looked like. The presenter explained that each special rights student had a B.E.S.T.(Behaviour and Emotional Support Team,) group which consisted of a Support Teacher, Educational Assistant, and a Social Worker, which they now call a ‘Family Enhancement Facilitator.’ I guess there is some kind of stigma with calling them a social worker. I’ll have to ask the ministry of truth about that. Wilson-Fraser inquired further about the Support Teachers, and as far as I understood it, each school has one. Symmonds commented on the importance of a family liaison. I think she too was referring to the social worker. So I’m not sure what they should be called. There was no discussion on the centralization of special needs staff, that I heard so much about from teachers during the campaign.
The meeting finished with Trustee Reports, an enrollment update, (we are up by 22 students this year, there was a prediction of no increase, so that was good,) and a few announcements about future meetings.(NSBA,PSBA, & ASBA) The trustee reports were very brief, as everyone was involved in the election campaign. Massini made a comment about how he had not been to Ross Glen parent council do to a controversy. Not sure of the details on that.
The Board moved to in-camera, and thus concluded my public viewing of the meeting. I hope to get to as many board meetings as I can, but….just so you know, they CAN be interesting, but not always. I’m hoping as part of the future changes to CPoSD76 to get a schedule up, and maybe have someone else fill in on one or two meeetings? (wink, wink)
What do you think of the new suggested language of the policies, do you agree? Vote in the poll, and I can present the results to the Board.
Will rewriting the terms and definitions of inclusive education help to correct the pressing issues of the program?
Total Voters: 14
(Image of Cari Stella, a de-transitioned person.)
Procedure K from policy 622 makes it an offense for any staff to share the information in the above articles with any child that is struggling with gender identity, or comes to them expressing trans identity. An offense that could cost that staff member their livelihood, and the enforcing of could cost the child their life.
“Policy 622 Procedure: k. ensure staff will not refer students to programs or services that attempt to change or repair a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity; and”
Procedure J encourages gender confusion, and pushes children to accept transitioning from known biological gender to the detriment of their health and continued will being, as the only ‘evidence’ based supports that will be provided to the child must be in the affirmative. Discouraging critical thinking, a fundamental tenant of educational development.
Policy 622 Procedure: j. work collaboratively with school staff and build capacity to identify and implement evidence-based supports for students;
Procedure L is a direct and flagrant violation of the law (Family Law Act) and grants rights and privileges to both staff and students, to which they are not entitled. No law or act of parliament grants this privilege. The procedure grants wholly inappropriate levels of relationship between staff and students, removes checks and balances that have been in place for decades to protect children from sexual abuse, strips parents of their rights, and creates destructive rifts in the parent child relationship.
Policy 622 Procedure: l. ensure all staff recognize the confidentiality of the sexual orientation and gender identity of all students and protect them from unwanted disclosure of such information.
Policy 622, the Guidelines to Best Practices, and Alberta Education under the direction of Minister David Eggen endorse, support, and attempt to enforce the abuse of children through negligent practice, policy, and procedure. For 16 months the Board of Medicine Hat School District #76 have refused to provide evidence or justification for their actions in implementing the Policies as written. No organization or scientific entity has provided the public with hard data on the measurable benefit gender identity politics have for the education or development of children.
By contrast, month over month medical professionals, psychologists, and parents have been able to gather and collect data, and warn this board and Alberta Education of the harms and ill effects that gender identity have on children and society. Real measurable examples of individuals irreparably harmed by the push to make ‘trans’ acceptable. Real examples of abuse of the policies to push explicit material at children.
As elected representatives of the people of Medicine Hat it is the duty of the Board of Trustees to represent the interests of their electorate first and foremost, and not that of any particular ideology or political party. Their first duty is to Medicine Hat. It is their duty to protect the children with whom parents have granted them temporary guardianship. It is not the Duty of the board to instill any particular ideology, ethics, or morality in those children.
Over the last 16 months, parents have been frustrated by the actions of the Board to belittle their concerns as fringe and ‘offensive.’ It is no small thing that this issue is the first time in SD76’s history that parents have rallied together to protect their children from vile and abusive policy. Make no mistake, parents see the practical ‘procedural’ implementation of these policies as vile. Setting aside the duty as a Trustee, it is the duty of every parent, grand parent and citizen to stall or prevent any group or ideology that seeks to use and abuse society’s children. There is no mistaking the fact that these policies were enforced outside the district for the purposes of using or abusing children for political or sexual ends.
Parents are not, and will never be satisfied by the answer that the Board was “following orders.” Following orders has not been adequate justification for committing any crime against another human being since at least the Nuremberg Trials. It is the fact that the Board has continued to refuse to answer the public that have led to this situation. Parents and the public are calling the Board to account to justify their actions over the past 16 months. It is for this reason that we are submitting the amendment to our petition today.
We, the electorate of Medicine Hat, have been left with no other option. Continued and repeated opportunities have been given to the board to appropriately address parental concerns. If an elected body is not representative of those that elected them, than that elected body serves no representative purpose, and appropriate actions must be taken to correct the situation.
For the Board’s Consideration:
I have tabulated the vote results.
68.2% in Favour of Amending
13.6% in Favour of Compiling Concerns
18.2% Spoiled Votes
Due to an unknown circumstance the voting got locked out late Thursday evening, and I was unaware of the problem until 9pm Friday. This led to a number of corrupt votes. However, even if all the votes that had been corrupt had been in favour of Compiling Concerns, the “Amend” Votes would still be the lead. The e-mail addresses of those votes DID come through, so I will attempt to ascertain how they voted, for clarity of record. If there was anyone else who attempted to vote, but got an error message, please ‘contact us.’
With the information as it stands now, I will be submitting the amended petition to the Secretary of the Board ASAP. Details on that will be posted later.
On a separate note, the final public school board meeting for the 2016/2017 year will be held at 6pm tomorrow the 20th of June at the central board office. I’ve gone over the agenda, and there are no policy changes on the agenda. Highlights include ASBA Zone 6 meeting overview, PSBA General Assembly Overview, and a discussion on the “Classroom Improvement Fund” (CIF)
Well, it has been a long road. I’ve been to 14 board meetings now. Last night’s meeting was no different. Each one being pretty much the same. Crowd sizes varying. Feb, 2016 – 20+, March Regular – 40+, March Special – 90+, April 0 – as no one knew where to go, May Public 120+. Obviously parents had and have concerns over Policies 621 and 622. So how DID the board respond? Well, I’ve posted here a short list of why the parents of SD76 were not satisfied with the process, and why I was forced to go to court on behalf of the parents. Yet, as was the case in several other board meetings, the parents got a ‘lecturing’ by a Trustee about how ‘open’ and attentive they were to parental concerns, without actually addressing a single concern that was brought up, or issue with the process. And there were issues. I wrote about them here.
So, where did that leave us? Well, we were told by Trustee Riley last Tuesday that we were wasting the administrations time by continuing to press the issue, when it is “done”. Mr. Riley even going so far as to say that they would not be looking at this issue again unless legislation is changed. Stating that the parents were operating out of fear of change. Even quoting F.D.R.’s famous statement on fear.
I guess what parents are supposed to take away from that is, being afraid for the safety of children, is irrational. I guess we all should just accept that our child’s well being is up to the board. Just ignore the fact that gender politics have been banned in parts of Australia (NSW) because of the proven risk it poses to the well being of children. Just ignore the fact that predators have already used gender politics to victimize children. Just ignore the fact the GSA’s are being used to promote high-risk homosexual life style, and teaching such wonderful things as “Anal Phisting”, and “Golden Showers.” Just ignore that the district have set no standards as to age appropriateness. (So you know, 4 of the 5 trustees have told me that there are 6 & 7 year old children in the district who are trans. As if a 7 year old’s mind is even developed enough to understand the concept.)
It is reckless and irresponsible to refuse to look at a policy unless and only if a change in legislation is made. (Not to mention that is a direct contradiction of the amendment that was just past to 622. Which stated that any further amendments to the policy shall be in accordance with the existing procedures on policy amendment.) It is clear that the board does not have an accurate understanding of the legislation, and as such, the policies need to be adjusted. Mr. Riley stated that children have a right to privacy when sharing information with teachers. Citing Bill 10, the Alberta Bill of Rights, and the Canadian Charter of rights as his bases for this believe. In fact the word privacy does not exist in any of the sources cited. In fact, Bill 10 states the following:
I could find no reference in the Canadian charter that refers to student child confidentiality or privacy. Perhaps Mr. Riley was referring to the Privacy Act, but that act is in reference to the retention of private data by government bodies.
(6)Except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, each guardian may exercise the following powers:
Mr. Riley quite correctly states that the Trustees swore an Oath to follow the lawful commands of the Education Minister. However, Minister David Eggen’s command to keep secret from parents information to which they are legally entitled is an UNLAWFUL command, and by their oath, they should refuse to follow it.
I believe fear is leading this issue, but it is not an irrational fear of change. No, it is a culture of fear perpetuated by Alberta Education (ATA,PSBA,ASBA, etc…), the NDP government, and their front groups like “Progress Alberta” and “iSMSS.” Driven by the aggressive behaviour of the LGBT… groups that threaten, harass, and bully.
This culture of fear is even embedded deep within SD76. From notices passed around by the ATA, to taking teachers aside and reprimanding them for being witness to a petition. This is a culture of cover up, silence, and oppression. I’ve never even gone into the questionable ‘hearings’ policies. That is a whole other mess entirely. There is a reason our little website has had over 53,000 visits in a month. Those parents, staff, and electorate who have been abused and maligned by the system know they can come to me, and others on this site, and share their stories without being exposed to the attacks and social media witch hunt that would surely follow.
Now, I have been accused of being aggressive as well, but there is a difference. The things I have said are true. They are predominately first hand quotes, and are experiences I have personally been privy to. Yes, not everything I have said is flattering to those individuals, but those who are directing the education of our children must be held accountable for their words and actions. They are the examples to our children, and they exert great influence over them.
As I have stated in the past, I am no stranger to bullying. I have been on the receiving end of a ‘hazing,’ and been mocked for the hobbies I enjoy. I can identify the difference between criticism and bullying. Many of the things I’ve said or accusations I have made were submitted in my affidavit during the appeal, and I swore before God that they were true, under penalty of law. The appeal process even gave the district’s lawyer the chance to cross examine (question my statements), and they did not do so.
That brings us to the petition. Why DID I feel compelled to appeal this particular petition, the first case of it’s kind in Canadian history? If you believe the ill-researched articles in the media, it was because we wanted to waste everyone’s time, and we are on the hunt to ‘out’ all the LGBT…. If you believe the board, it was because we were afraid of change, and would not accept that the issue was ‘done’ before it had ever even begun.
So, why not ask the man that appealed to the court? Why not ASK him why he felt obligated to appeal? Surely the man who filed the petition, and it’s appeal could tell you why he appealed. Surely the source would be the best place to get the information as to motivations? Well, I have stated here before why I felt obligated to appeal, (via the main contentions argued in court) but I suppose a reiteration of those reasons is necessary.
There were in fact two more reasons that the petition was appealed, but more time was spent in the filings, that addressed those two issues, than was spent during arguments in the appeal. The two additional reasons were:
As the individual who submitted the petition, it was my responsibility to make sure a fair and just evaluation was conducted. If you subtracted the 110 signatures that they said were out of district, that left 1924 tax payers in the lurch. After a petition is rejected, the School Act specifies that an appeal to the Court of Queens Bench is the only option left available. Although some would have you believe that it was a fruitless endeavor, Paragraph 18 of the Justice Tilleman’s judgment proves otherwise. In it, he recounts how the district stated that we could in fact amend our petition for re-evaluation. This was, as I’ve said, contrary to what they had said before the appeal.
Finally, what about the cost? Well, there were several opportunities before the petition to have genuine, bidirectional dialogue between parents and the board, but parents only met with resistance. At one point, parents were even told that it was up to the courts to figure this all out. But when parents went to court, they were being “Frivolous and Vexatious.” The fact of the matter is, the justice had 3 opportunities to declare our case frivolous. During the speak to date, where the merits of our appeal were evaluated, during the proceeding of the appeal, and during the rendering of the judgement. The districts lawyer ALSO had opportunity to argue to the justice that we were being vexatious. In neither the appeal proceedings, or the rendering of the judgement, were costs brought up.
[UPDATE: There is apparently no way to get the clarification I was seeking. A response of agreement to the costs as levied by SD76 has been sent to their lawyer.]
As was stated in the Medicine Hat News, we will be paying the $2300 bill as was received. I am in the process of attempting to get clarification from Justice Tilleman as to whether it was his intent in his judgement for us to pay costs. I am currently awaiting a call back from resolution services. The Board has given me a deadline of May 26th to respond to their request. This gives me a few days to get that clarification. I want to make it very clear, I am not paying this bill because I believe I was in the wrong in taking it to court. If I had to, I would do it all over again. It is silly to suggest that ‘not pursuing costs’ would set precedence forcing the district to forgive costs on any other potential case. Each case is unique, and the decision could be made at that time.
On the matter of ‘wasted money,’ I want to leave you with a few facts:
A quick recap of the board meeting. I am writing a more thorough walk through, but due to constraints on my time, I was unable to complete it tonight, so here is the tl;dr.
As for the your vote on how the CPoSD76 should proceed.
Given that costs were not rescinded, even more votes from 1 would be shifted to 2.
A meeting for signatories and stake holders in the petition will be held on the 27 of May. Venue TBA.
Tonight at 6pm is the monthly SD76 public board meeting.
There are a few major items on the agenda for the meeting.
The Agenda, and all relevant documents can be found here.
A final note: Results of the vote on how to proceed will be available Wednesday.
Last Tuesday April 25th was the monthly public school board meeting. I know many of you have been awaiting a summary of the meeting, and have particular interest in the 622 Review Report. There will be a separate post on that matter on behalf of the group very soon. There have been some developments in the last few days in regards to the Board that warrant the report being addressed separately.
The board meeting opened with a couple of minor addendum to the agenda, which were approved. The minutes of the previous meeting were adopted, and Trustee Terry Riley was in attendance by phone. The chair quickly went over correspondence, and then recognized recent student and staff accomplishments.
After accomplishments, a report on the New York field trip was given. This report included several statements by 4 of the students that were a part of the trip. The students were asked what was the most memorable part of the field trip. They listed the UN, Ellis Island, and the Metropolitan Museum. One student mentioned the UN Universal Declaration of Humans Rights being the most translated document in the world. Just a minor nit pick, but the UN UDHR has been translated into 502 languages. The New Testament of the Bible has been translated into 1442 different languages. I was little surprised no one questioned or corrected that statement. I’m curious by what standard the UN considers a document a document.
I found it further curious that there was so much emphasis on the visit to the UN, and the UDHR, yet the current provincial government does not seem to be concerned with it contents. It is the UDHR, in article 26, paragraph 3 that we find “(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children,” and yet we have seen a concerted effort by the ATA, ASBA, and Alberta Education to violate that right, and remove school choice via shutting down of separate home school boards, and a demand that other options be defunded. Very curious indeed.
After the field trip report, a District focus update was given. This was quite lengthy, and a copy of the presentation was included in the agenda. I will not be going through this here, but suffice to say, it contained a lot of acronyms, and creative use of corporate education speak. The main acronym I was able to get from it was FAIRR – Formative, Alignment, Informing, Reflective, Reporting. The main points I picked up on were
Next they approved a field trip to Chicago, and then reports from committees were given. Massini started with a report on the National School Board conference the He, Davidson, and Wilson-Fraser attended in the U.S. He spoke of the workshops he attended, including:
Davidson also mentioned attending:
The Coordinating committee minutes were adopted.
The public school board committee(?) report was mentioned.
Riley brought up the recent decision by the Saskatchewan court to prevent non-Catholic students from attending a Catholic school. Riley wants the board to discuss the effects it will have on the district. I posted about it here.
Freeman went to the District Learning Exchange, and the Council of Councils as well as the george Davidson council.
Wilson-Fraser went to council meetings, and noted how they are getting ready for year end.
Forbes went to the Learning Exchanges and the Creswood Council. Talked about the 20 or so parents at the meeting, and just how involved the parents of that school are.
Riley went to the Wilson learning center, and brought up 5 things to report
Massini attended the student presentations at Crescent Heights. One of which was on Renewable Energy. He also went to the South View Casino event and the Ken Saur School opening meeting.
The meeting concluded with Freeman giving her 622 Review Report.
This was a marathon meeting, and a lot of ground was covered. The CPoSD76 response to the 622 report will be next.
SD #76 is having their regular public board meeting tomorrow, the 25th at 6pm at Board Office next to Medicine Hat High.
The key items of note are
Policy 210.1 does not seems to have anything of concern. The Board is simply giving the superintendent the power to say when a child may need special education. He must report his decisions to the board. I hope the board brings clarification as to what exactly Mr. Gunderson’s role is. If the superintendent has to report to the board any time he uses the delegated powers, then what evaluation is Mr. Gunderson conducting.
The changes to 510,516, & 545 make it out like the staff person will be put on trial if they do not wish to be transferred. Some more information on just when and why these transfers may be necessary would be of interest. Unless the district is understaffed, I don’t see many situations where this would be necessary. The School Act does outline this, and suggests that it may be of benefit to the personal development of the staff. I think of personal development as a bit of misnomer, as forcing it would probably breed resentment and discontent. Not exactly ‘development’ you would want in a teacher.
As for the report on the 622 review, I am interested in hearing what info was collected, as I’ve said in previous posts, the process was a bit ham handed. All in all it should be an interesting meeting, and I hope I can count on a few other concerned residents showing up to witness the proceedings, and/or discussion on these matters.