The message from Maureen Prince today was simple. Include Parents. This is critical to a democratic and successful society. The family is the very bedrock of any healthy society. It is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi that he said, “The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.”
Our children are our weakest members, and across Canada, right down to our local school boards, our society is seeking to exploit our children. Right now, procedures exist in Alberta schools that write out parents, and treat our children as property of the state. Here in Medicine Hat a teacher must report any child seen violating the districts ‘code of conduct’, no matter where it happens, or face disciplinary action. This expands a teachers fiduciary duty far beyond reason, or that of even a police officer. An authority schools don’t have, and should never have.
School District 76 drafted a motion last year for the ASBA that asked to have school districts assigned to children at birth. When asked what that looked like, the trustees could not provide the details. Education Minister David Eggen bullied out a command that schools MUST keep critical developmental information about our children secret from the parents. Information of a sexual nature. One of, if not THE most intimate aspect of a child’s life. Not allowed to tell parents. What other group likes to tell children to keep sexual topics secret? (Hint: Ask any victim of sexual abuse. There are windows on class room doors for a reason.)
These kinds of actions are part of a pattern. The future for Alberta can be seen as close as Ontario, and their Bill 89. The protections for our children are being stripped away and the parents are being shut out. The ‘state’ is seeking to take possession and control of our children. Where have we seen that in history, and how did it turn out?
Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Mao’s China. All of which seized control of the children’s education, shut the parents out, and indoctrinated them into horrible murderous ideologies. But those are all examples from far off lands, so lets look to something closer to home. Let’s remember the residential schools.
The residential schools did exactly what the Alberta NDP and Ontario Liberals are trying to do now. They seized control of aboriginal children, stuck them in forced government sanctioned education, and removed all parental oversight and protection from sexual predators. I guess our government subscribes to the “do the same thing over and over again until you get the result you want,” perception of reality. A year ago, I even mentioned the parallel with the residential schools to the Board of SD76, but I guess they couldn’t see it.
But I’m not an aboriginal, nor have I lived through the trauma that was so many of the residential schools, so don’t take my word for it, hear from someone who lived it. Hear why family needs to be included.
Yet, here we are. Trying to educate our educators on why their educational plan is flawed, and will lead to the harm of our children. Here we are being called bigots and etc-phobics. I’ve been asked today what is so concerning? Well the state seizing our kids, and putting them at risk is pretty concerning. There is some great irony that the Alberta legislature was talking about the hard fought battle of Vimy Ridge, to stop tyranny, on the same day that a parent had to remind the government to not tyrannically exclude parents from the education and care of their children.
Include parents. Such a simple phrase. Who knew it would represent the feelings of so many parents and children in our city, province and beyond.
With the NDP controlled Alberta Education, implementing actions to remove parents from their role as primary care givers, parents had a problem.
In cities all over the province, Parents were leaping into action. Contacting school boards, administrators and teachers. Parents showed up to school board meetings like never before. Peaceful rallies had thousands in attendance.
Finding themselves threatened and coerced, school boards seldom gave parents opportunity to express concerns or impact policy or procedures.
A few brave school boards stood up to Mr. Eggen and his new policies only to find themselves in the crosshairs of his wrath.
A few cities managed to get thousands of signatures to demand a meeting with their school boards in hopes of making recommendations that would be more student/parent friendly.
Our city had a petition of over 2,000 names asking for a formation of a committee to make recommendations addressing these policies and procedures. When it was found insufficient, we took it to appeals court, hoping some of the excluded signatures would be found valid. Or that we met a secondary criteria, in the school act.
We await the Judge’s decision this Thursday.
So, what role do these simple buttons play? With a circle of children, surrounding the words “Include Parents” what does it have to do with this political paradox?
They represent, that all children need their parents. Children, by very definition, need parents to protect, guide and care for them. By law we are responsible to direct the education of our children and their day to day activities, including extracurricular activities.
But, our voices, and the law, have been ignored and belittled. So, the button is a visual declaration, that can’t be silenced.
We will stand in solidarity, to safeguard our children. We will not abandon them. We will not let AB Education make life altering choices for them. They are our children, not the governments!
Regrettably, there are some incompetent parents. We recognize and understand that. Fortunately, we have in place, services to help students and families in those circumstances. Child Welfare, Social Services, Foster Care and Police are some of the resources for these students.
We wish that every child, struggling with any issue, would have the joy of his parent enfolding him in arms of comfort. That together, child and parent could walk the path resolving life’s difficulties. To those children without that, we wish you success and joy as you walk a difficult path.
Life is hard, parents help us navigate it.
And so my friends, this is a love story. The love of parents for their children.
Well, Friday and Saturday the CPoSD76 held a yard sale, to raise funds for court costs, and help us with future endeavures. We asked families to drop off their gently used items, and boy, did they ever. Just look at how much stuff concerned families dropped off!
For the 2 hours we were open on Friday, and all day on Saturday plus over time, there was a constant stream of people to see what we had for sale. Many more residents of Medicine Hat became aware of just what was happening with their local School District 76. Awareness is the chief struggle we have.
Parents for instance are just not aware that SD76 has set procedures under policy 621 & 622 that create new ‘problem’ children within the district through vague definitions on various ‘phobias’. That the district has established that they can impress their idea of morality and ethics upon the children in the schools, beyond that of the law, and in some cases, against that which the parents wish to instill.
Most concerning is that the district has established in those same procedures that a child can be monitored while not at school, and if an infraction of school policy/ethics/morals occurs outside school hours, no matter the location, that the child can be disciplined for that infraction. Worse still, they have written into procedures for administration and teachers, that if they see such an infraction, they must report it, or be subject to disciplinary action themselves.
Still though, besides making residents aware of what some of the concerns of the CPoSD76 are, the yard sale also brought awareness about this Thursday’s court decision on the petition that they brought to the Board of SD76. The CPoSD76 have been struggling for over a year to have their concerns heard by the Board, but have been met with continual road blocks. So much so, that they had to appeal the rejection of their petition. The first appeal of it’s kind in Canadian History. Justice Tilleman will in fact on Thursday be setting precedence for any future case like ours.
The Justice will also be giving clarifications on a numbers of aspects of the School Act. One clarification that the Justice gave on March 10th was that the petition can be amended with the requisite number of signatures needed to meet the criteria of the School Act, contrary to the assertion of the Secretary of the Board who stated we must resubmit a new petition (Ie. Recollect all 2000 signatures).
This was a relief to us, as the original collection was a significant amount of work, and consisted of more than 40 volunteers collecting. So, with the statements from the Justice, we set out to collect the 110 shortfall, and to correct the addresses of the 269 that only had postal codes.
We have volunteers tirelessly looking up the addresses as best they can, as they do not have access to postal information, electoral role calls, or school registration lists. The Yard Sale alone provided 78 new signatures, and with several other volunteers yet to hand in there collections, (the numbers are good,) we expect to far exceed the 110 required. Who knows, we may have enough, that we don’t even need to bother with fixing the addresses of the 269!
Beyond the signatures, the yard sale was ultimately about raising funds for court costs. Although the appeal was self represented, there were a number of costs associated with the case. Including the initial filing, sworn affidavits, and consulting fees.
Although not exuberant, they are a concern for a working father with a family to raise. Throughout this process several individuals indicated that they wanted to help, and some already had, but we wanted to give the broader community the opportunity to be engaged, and show that there are many in the community who are concerned with what is happening in our school district, province, and country. (As if 2034 signatures on a petition wasn’t enough of an indication.)
In fact, the district has not gotten this fact, as not only does a father of two have to worry about his own court costs, but the School Board has asked the Justice to make him pay for their court costs.
In the words of the Secretary, the precedent setting appeal on behalf of 2034 signatories is “frivolous and vexatious,” and the appellant should pay for daring to question the Board, and making them work to evaluate the petition. But that is OK, because our children are worth any cost, and parents will never back down from protecting their own from dangerous and oppressive policy.
And you know what? With only one week’s notice, residents of Medicine Hat showed this to be true, as the massive amount of donations in items for the yard sale, the purchase by others at the yard sale, and with the financial donations towards our efforts. In fact, between sales and donations, a total of $1721.90 was raised for court costs. Not bad for one weekend. Innumerable thanks to all those that bought from our yard sale, and donated to costs. You have no idea how encouraging this is to us. A special thanks to Crossroads Church for letting us use their facility for the yard sale. Could not have hoped for a better location!
So what of all the items that didn’t sell? The majority of the clothing items have already been donated to refugees via the Dream Center, and the remaining items are slated to be dropped of at the local Salvation Army thrift store later this week, to benefit the local community. There was just so much given by generous families, we didn’t have time to sell it all, nor would we have needed to. This was an incredible showing of the generosity of the residents of Medicine Hat, their concern for their children, for those people new to Canada, and those that are struggling in these difficult economic times.
This is an older story, but so many think that as a ‘separate’ school they will not be affected.
I am putting out a call to all those who ride and are able to appear in front of the Medicine Hat Court of Queens Bench: Thursday @8:30 am. To show your support of the Concerned Parents of SD76… If you want to stand up for parents and kids this is a great opportunity be show solidarity!
This is a group of Parents that have tried for over a year to have a meeting with the School Board concerning Procedure changes that were done behind closed doors in a private session..and for over a year have been denied!
The parents have had to take the School Board before the Court to insist that 2000 signatures that were gathered COUNT as voices of parents who want to talk.
NOW.. This Thursday Parents, and those who are willing to stand for the parents to be granted the RIGHT to meet and address their concerns to the SD76, will be gathering outside the Court Of Queen’s Bench in Medicine Hat.
Paid Activists have shown up before and like to intimidate supporters and create fear and chaos.
I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THIS HAPPEN HERE.
School is out that day, so there will be parents who will bring their children.
THIS IS WHERE YOU FOLKS COME IN
Your sheer presence will ANNOUNCE to those who would want to disrupt or bully, that such actions will NOT be tolerated.
If there is ONE thing those who ride command…IT IS RESPECT!
It says to those attending;
There will be NO Bullying
There will be NO intimidation
We have your back and we are watching!
We are currently working on reserving a chunk of parking for all of you who Ride down.
I am hoping we can make this happen! Please let me know if you are able to attend so I can get an approximate count for parking purposes.
Theresa Ng (Informed Albertans) has published an EXCELLENT video explaining why removing links from the Alberta GSA Network website is NOT enough to protect Alberta students. Please watch this Call to Action and SHARE!
This Thursday the 13th of April, Justice Tilleman will render his decision on the petition appeal. I want to express my thanks to everyone that has been contributing to the work of the CPoSD76. I would ask that all those that were collecting signatures since March 10th, to bring them by the Yard Sale at Crossroads Church on Friday from 5-7, or Saturday 9-3. We will get them counted and sorted, and make sure all the affidavit’s are in order. An appointment for getting your witness affidavit notarized will be given upon drop off of the signatures. There is no charge for the notarization if done through our appointment time.
You may recall that we needed an additional 110 signatures, and there were a further 269 with postal code issues. I’m confident that we have gotten more than 110, but I need full accurate counts to present to the justice on Thursday. So please, bring by any you have collected. Plus, you can shop the yard sale, or drop off items for sale. Win win.
I will be at the yard sale both this evening and tomorrow, and will be able to answer any questions you may have. If you have not signed the petition, and wish to do so, you will be able to at the yard sale. Tell your friends, neighbours, and anyone will listen. This leg of the journey to being included as the primary care takers in our children’s education is nearly at an end, and we must continue to run the race with perseverance.
Hope to see all of you Thursday Morning at 9AM!
““I’m here today telling you for certain what my position is and my personal opinion is, we shouldn’t out kids,” says Jean.
His personal opinion? Is it Wildrose’s opinion? Just asking.””
Yes, that sounds crass, but have you noticed how mental illness is being promoted as normal? In fact, anyone who calls it such is a hateful bigot? Well,
Now, you may be thinking, “Ha ha, don’t be silly, this is obviously a mental illness. Obviously the person needs psychological help. Quit ‘scare mongering.'” Well, let me warn you, to laugh is to be a bigot. How long ago was it that the idea that a 6 year old boy was trapped in a girls body was ludicrous? A year? Two?
I’ll let you know a little something about my self…..I’m a geek. A nerd. Little known fact, I’ve attended comic expos, and have an unhealthy amount of videos games. As a kid, I went out in public wearing a Star Trek uniform. (I know about bullying.) You may ask me, “What does that have to do with Furries?” Well, you see, I’ve met a few furries. I’ve engaged in conversations with them, even been exposed to their culture via some of the video game sub cultures. And you know what is interesting about that?
Though many of them simply suffer from social anxiety, as is all to common among us geek folk, (and putting on a fur suite alleviates that anxiety,) quite a few of them suffer from species disphoria. The believe that they are X species born into a body from Y species. Now I know that sounds ridiculous, but their is no less evidence for being born in the wrong species than there is for being born the wrong gender.
And just as the homosexual lifestyle, and gender identity continues to get pushed on younger and younger children, so too will trans-species. Where is the C-16 or Bill 10 for children who identify as a dog, a cat, a dragon, or a unicorn? This is not harsh, or belittling. This is ‘truth’ as has been presented to us, and if you believe that a trans kid needs special protection from bullying, how much more so do you think a child who thinks they are a pony will need? I’m not saying I advocate for this, but if one believes that a person can be born the wrong gender, than one must believe in being born the wrong species. You must provide a hydrant, a litter box, and a bed of hay in every bathroom, or your a bigot.
At this point, reason has fled, and we are left with only chaos.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.