Court Costs, 622, and where we are going...

Court Costs, 622, and where we are going…

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.

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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:

Alberta Bill 10 Notice to parent
58.1
(1) A board shall provide notice to a parent of a student where courses, programs of study or instructional materials, or instruction or exercises, include subject-matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion or human sexuality.
(2) Where a teacher or other person providing instruction,teaching a course or program of study or using the instructional materials referred to in subsection (1) receives a written request signed by a parent of a student that the student be excluded from the instruction, course or program of study or use of
instructional materials, the teacher or other person shall, in accordance with the request of the parent, permit the student, without academic penalty,
(a) to leave the classroom orplace where the instruction,course or program of study is taking place or the instructional materials are being used for the duration ofthe part of the instruction, course or program of study, or the use of the instructional materials, that includes the subject-matter referred to in subsection (1), or (b) to remain in the classroom or place without taking part in the instruction, course or program of study or using the instructional materials.
Alberta Bill of Rights States:
Recognition and declaration of rights and freedoms
1 It is hereby recognized and declared that in Alberta there exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or gender expression, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms,
namely:
  • (a) the right of the individual to liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;
  • (b) the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law;
  • (c) freedom of religion;
  • (d) freedom of speech;
  • (e) freedom of assembly and association;
  • (f) freedom of the press;
  • (g) the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children.

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.

Alberta Family Law Act:

(6)Except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, each guardian may exercise the following powers:

  1. (a) to make day-to-day decisions affecting the child, including having the day-to-day care and control of the child and supervising the child’s daily activities;
  2. (b) to decide the child’s place of residence and to change the child’s place of residence;
  3. (c) to make decisions about the child’s education, including the nature, extent and place of education and any participation in extracurricular school activities;
  4. (d) to make decisions regarding the child’s cultural, linguistic,religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage;
  5. (e) to decide with whom the child is to live and with whom the child is to associate;
  6. (f) to decide whether the child should work and, if so, the nature and extent of the work, for whom the work is to be done and related matters;
  7. (g) to consent to medical, dental and other health-related treatment for the child;
  8. (h) to grant or refuse consent where consent of a parent or guardian is required by law in any application, approval, action, proceeding or other matter;
  9. (i) to receive and respond to any notice that a parent or guardian is entitled or required by law to receive;
  10. (j) subject to the Minors’ Property Act and the Public Trustee Act, to commence, defend, compromise or settle any legal proceedings relating to the child and to compromise or settle any proceedings taken against the child;
  11. (k) to appoint a person to act on behalf of the guardian in an emergency situation or where the guardian is temporarily absent because of illness or any other reason;
  12. (l) to receive from third par ties health, education or other information that may significantly affect the child;
  13. (m) to exercise any other powers reasonably necessary to carry out the responsibilities of guardianship.

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…”

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.

“…and I swore before God that they were true, under penalty of law.”

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.

  1. The 25% condition of section 269(1)(a) of the School Act was not evaluated for the petition.

  2. That 259 signatures that only had postal codes were not considered valid.

  3. That when asked for details on the 110 rejected out of district signatures, the Secretary refused to provide them.

  4. A possible privacy violation of a witness to the petition.

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:

  1.  The actions of the board before the petition was submitted appeared to show prejudice against a fair evaluation of the petition.

  2. The Secretary had informed Dr. Prince and I that we could not have the petition back and implied that no amendment to the petition could be made. Thus 100s of hours of work would have to be repeated in order to re-submit.

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:

  • During the previous 2 years, SD76 paid $46,600 a year in membership fees to the unelected Alberta School Board Association (ASBA).
  • Beyond that, the ASBA charges ~$250 per hour for legal services.
  • Trustee Riley gave a report last Tuesday on the ASBA Zone 6 meeting, in which he stated that the ASBA was planning on increasing those membership fees, and increasing the legal services fees to ~$350 per hour.
  • What exactly does membership fees buy, if they don’t include legal services? A pool of potential candidates for positions? Is that worth the cost?
  • The Trustees had a 13.7% increase in ‘benefits’ on the 2017/18 budget. That means a $16,000 increase. From $10,500 to $26,500. Non-union staff only saw a 3% increase and that was spread across wages & benefits.
  • The NDP are FORCING a reduction in school fees, while expecting the districts to maintain the same level of services.

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Age appropriate?

WARNING! GRAPHIC CONTENT!

 

I shouldn’t have to do that for a video geared to 8 year olds, but such is the times we live in.

 

 

This is a Sex-Ed video from Norway deemed appropriate for Age 8 Kids. I will give you a TRIGGER WARNING NOW. Frankly I hope it offends & disgusts you. Maybe it will move you into ACTION here in Alberta and realize the bottom feeder global progressive sex crap little kiddos are having to sift through and make sense of around the globe. It’s a GOOD thing to stick our nose inside the classroom and have a SAY. Let’s make it our business to know all angles of content and curriculum. When was the last time you cracked open an Alberta textbook and read about Dirty Alberta Oil, climate change, reviewed sex Ed material, or NOW GSA material. Propaganda at every turn. We get one shot at this, I don’t want to look back with regret because I was to scared to speak up and say how wrong and dangerous it it to expose Kids to Sex content. It’s wrong.

Norwegian Sex Ed

Board meeting Recap and Results of the CPoSD76 vote.

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.

  1. 622 amendments were passed, and Terry Riley stated that they will not be looking at the policies again unless legislation changes.
  2. The board has chosen to continue their pursuit of court costs from me.
  3. The budget was passed.
  4. Terry Riley gave a report on the ASBA zone 6 meeting.

As for the your vote on how the CPoSD76 should proceed.

  • 39% – 1. Host a meeting & Invite the Board, then determine next step.
  • 60% – 2. Submit amendment to the petition, and proceed according to School Act
  • 1% – 3. Select four representatives to convey concerns to the board.

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.

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Point out the exaggerations.

There are far fewer exaggerations in this video than you may realize. Even the one about Red Ink is actually a thing.

Study: Red ink makes students anxious

Teachers shouldn’t use red coloured pens to mark homework ‘because it’s like shouting and upsets pupils

Privilege Points are a thing.

Feelings over Facts are a thing.

Gender politics is a thing.

Equality of outcome over equality of opportunity is a thing.

Right to not be offended is a thing.

Right to ‘punch a nazi’ is a thing.

Words are violent is a thing.

Right to silence differing opinions is a thing.

And they are all mixed into education. So, if you find an exaggeration in this video, that has not played out in some western educational institution in the last decade, please let me know.

Remember, questions are offensive is a thing….really it is. Especially in regards to wanting to know who is rewriting education. Just ask David Eggen. He’ll tell you why you shouldn’t ask that.

May SD76 public board meeting…

Tonight at 6pm is the monthly SD76 public board meeting.

There are a few major items on the agenda for the meeting.

  1. A letter from the A.S.B.A. (Alberta School Board Association) with info about the October Election. Couple of highlights, “Ideally there would be as few acclimations [new candidates] as possible,” “we have prepared a package of information to assist school boards in creating their own local election campaign packages.”[The A.S.B.A is the same institution that wants to eliminate school choice, and defund all other school options.]
  2. A vote on if to pass the 622 amendments. (This is pretty much a given.)
  3. The results on if they will retract the $2300 bill that they already sent me for following the school act and appealing the petition.
  4. A presentation of the School Budget. (Presumably by the Secretary.)

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.

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Facts, Not Feelings

A choice needs to be made.

Last week I gave a report on a meeting with members of the Board of SD76.

This week, a decision needs to be made on how we should proceed post petition appeal. If option (1.) is chosen, the date of the Meeting would be Saturday, May 27th. The end of the school year is approaching, and this matter needs to be cleared up before the summer break.

Below is a very quick form that would provide us with concrete information on how parents feel we should continue. This is your opportunity. The names and e-mail of those that provide feedback will never be shared publicly. We know first hand the kind of blow back you can get from having an opinion that is not in agreement with the mainstream, and we will do our utmost to protect you from any such blow back.



I certify that I am a Public School Board Elector, who resides within Medicine Hat School District #76.


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No matter where the infraction occurs!

I have mentioned here before the concern over the Procedures for Policy 621 & 622, in regards to an overreach of authority and fiduciary duty, of Staff and Administration of SD76. I have further mentioned that the procedures allow for the district to monitor what children do outside of school, and punish them for infractions in conduct no matter where the infraction occurs.

I’ve been called a fear monger. That that is simply not true. The policy does not give the Administration that authority. It will never be used that way. The thing is, I have shared examples before about that same kind of Policy/Procedure that HAS been used to control and punish people’s children, outside of school.

But I understand, there is a need to show evidence of that claim, and so I quote from Administrative Procedure “621 P 001 Student Code of Conduct” for Policy 621.

Ahem..(emphasis mine)

“1. The District and schools’ Student Codes of Conduct, and their enforcement through consequences, shall apply to students
  • a.in school;
  • b. on the school grounds;
  • c. during any recess or lunch periods on or off school property;
  • d. at school sponsored or authorized activities;
  • e. on school busses or other forms of approved transportation; or
  • f.when the student’s conduct detrimentally affects the welfare of the members of the school community regardless of where that conduct occurs.

The very serious concern rests in what is meant by “conduct detrimentally” affecting the the school community. With other procedural points specifying that “unethical, immoral,or inappropriate” (4.l) behaviour beyond that of what is illegal is an example of a violation, without explaining who’s standard is to be followed, than anything can be an infraction if anyone says it is. (Procedure point 4 further states that violations are not limited to the examples cited.) It appears to set up the schools as the final authority on what is morally and ethically acceptable.

The intention I’m sure is to prevent bullying, and that is a right and noble intention, but without clarification, well, as they say about a road being paved with good intentions, the outcome will not be what was intended. Given that every family has their own standard of what is morally and ethically correct under the law, this leaves parents under the thumb of the whims of whoever happens to be in charge at the time. It creates strife between children, parents, and schools, with no hopes of resolution.

This kind of wording, inevitably leads to the following:

7th Grader Suspended for ‘Liking’ Photo of Airsoft Gun On Instagram

These kinds of procedures have been applied in other districts in the past, and they have repeatedly led to the ridiculous situations cited above. Schools must be safe, and they must follow the law, but they have no right or authority to dictate behaviour, morality, or ethics outside of school grounds.

Some may argue, “Ya, but they have no intention of doing that,” but that isn’t the point. If no one plans on utilizing that procedure, than why is it there? I am also aware of people who DO plan on utilizing this procedure, and have already received several different interpretations on how and for what purpose it would be implemented. There is already different standards of interpretations on it’s use, and we have not even gotten to a point of enacting it.

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On 622 report & other things.

tl;dr

  • The 622 report raised some concerns with parents. They are listed at the bottom.
  • The board has sent a bill for court costs, but are going to discuss rescinding it.
  • A few parents met with Trustees to discuss a solution to the current situation.
    • The CPOSD76 would like to hold a meeting for the purposes of deciding when to submit the amendments to the petition.
    • The CPoSD76 would invite the board to attend, and if the CPoSD76 are satisfied with the outcome of the discussion with the board, would hold a vote to cease action on the petition.
      • The Board would have to attend in majority, and be able to make official statements. (Understanding that not ALL statements would have to be official.)
      • The bill for court costs would have to be rescinded.
    • The Meeting would be open to any signatory to the petition, member of the CPoSD76 group, or resident of Medicine Hat, with concerns over the policy, or procedure.
    • Date of meeting TBA
  • We have 3 choices before us:
    • 1. Amend the petition, and follow the process of forming a committee in the school act.
    • 2. Have the meeting with the school board, and see if that satisfies the concerns.
    • 3. Select 3 or 4 people to represent the interests of the CPoSD76, and have them address the concerns to the board.
  • You can message an option number through facebook, or by using the contact form on the website.

It has been an interesting week. A report on the review of SD76 Policy 622 came out at the end of the last SD76 public board meeting. However, prior to that there was a invitation by a Trustee for a meeting with members of our group to discuss common ground and perhaps how we might come back from the brink on this policy. That meeting was set for Tuesday May 2nd.

On April 25th the board released their report, and immediately on the 26th a request for a statement was made by multiple media outlets. I Shared with the 557 members of our Facebook group that report, and requested their thoughts on it. I also met with numerous residents of Medicine Hat in person, to get their feedback. I began to write up a statement on behalf of the group.

On Friday April 28th I received an e-mail from the Lawyer for SD76, requesting I pay costs for the appeal. The stated reason being that, even though costs were not brought up during the appeal proceedings nor were they mentioned in Justice Tilleman’s decision, according to sd76’s lawyer, the Alberta Rules of Court states that SD76, as the ‘winning’ party, was entitled to seeks reimbursement for costs. This seemed to me counter intuitive to a reconciliation process. Thus I delayed the statement, and let the group know it would be delayed.

In the time between the April 28th and May 2nd I asked several signatories about the request for costs, (and consulted a lawyer.) The unanimous consensus from the signatories was that they too saw the request for costs counter intuitive to a reconciliation process. Some were more colorful in their answers than others. Thus, I held off on making any statements until after meeting with members of the board on May 2nd.

The May 2nd meeting saw a majority of the board in attendance. The meeting was not an official meeting of the board, and as such no official decisions were made. There were 2 other CPoSD76 representatives also present.

Overall the meeting seemed to be positive, with a positive outcome. There was some airing of grievances by both parties. A lot of clearing up of misunderstandings and mis-communications. Everyone conducted themselves in a professional and respectful manner, with everyone working towards the goal of coming to a consensus on how to move forward from this issue. Both the board members and the concerned parents understood that neither could make any decisions without first going back to their respective parties with the proposals.

A proposed process by a Trustee was that the concerned parents would arrange a meeting with the signatories/members of the public, and they would invite the board to attend that meeting, and address the issues and concerns that they had. The concerned parents in turn stated that they would be open to that idea, but they would have to bring it back to the other concerned parents, to decide if they wished to follow that process. It was also stated by the concerned parents that for that process to work, a couple of conditions would have to be met.

  1. If the board accepted an invitation and came, it would have to be a majority of the board, so that the board would be able to make official statements.
  2. The request for court costs would have to be rescinded, as that is perceived by the concerned parents to be a hindrance to moving forward.

The board members agreed to bring these requests up for discussion at their next available opportunity.

So, the proposal, to you the concerned parents is this:

We set up a town hall style meeting for the purposes of inviting the Board of SD76 to attend, and decide based on the feedback/participation of the board if/when we should file our amendment to the petition. We let you decide if you wish to move forward with the petition, or if you are satisfied with the feedback from the board, and that your concerns have been heard. Details on the date of the meeting will be forthcoming.


As for a statement on the 622 Review Report. Some of the concerns over it have been mentioned here before, some others have been shared with me since. To summarize those:

  1. Not all council’s had the relevant information available for parents when requested. (Particularly in regards to Admin procedures)
  2. Some council’s had expressed that they didn’t even need to consider it.
  3. One council shut down a parent that tried to raise a concern.
  4. At least one council did not have a Trustee present for their discussion.
  5. The process did not allow for proposed changes to go up to the board, but for feedback to be given to the board on proposed changes.
  6. The conflict of interest of council members, who are also staff, not being able to contradict the board, has not been addressed.
  7. A question on what the review process will be if the yearly review is removed, has not been answered.
  8. Some parent councils do not seem to have the details or understanding of what exactly their part in the process is.
  9. A lack of source information for the conclusions drawn in the report.

Due to the purpose of the meeting, I was not able to raise all of these issues. Over all the Trusstees did agree that communication between parent councils, parents, and the board was in need of a review, and that more readily available information was necessary. There was also mention of how best to engage parents, and the timing of parent council meetings.

 

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Informed Albertans Letter Campaign

I’m just sending a reminder about the province-wide letter campaign regarding the sexually graphic material that was provided to K-12 children on an Alberta government funded and recommended website.

I am hoping to reach a goal of 1000 individual letters before the deadline in a couple weeks and would appreciate your help to reach that goal.

Here are two ways you can help:

1. Write a letter, maximum of one page – watch my video and/or read the petition for ideas of what you can write: https://informedalbertans.wordpress.com/sexually-graphic-material-to-kids-in-alberta-schools-what-you-can-do/

The letters can be short, simple and to the point. If you have already sent a letter, THANK YOU!

2. Send a reminder to others in your networks to remind them to also send in their letters ASAP. Feel free to forward this message.

Tip: Maximize letters and save postage by enclosing letters from each adult in your household within the same envelope.

The deadline is quickly approaching and time is of the essence. I would appreciate your help in getting as many letters as possible. Quantity of letters will be most important.

Thank you so much for investing time today to speak out for the safety of children in K-12 schools!

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Daily Tidbit

No quote today