Pre Public Board Meeting Prep Post

Pre Public Board Meeting Prep Post

SD #76 is having their regular public board meeting tomorrow, the 25th at 6pm at Board Office next to Medicine Hat High.

There are a couple of important items on the agenda. All relevant documents can be found here.

The key items of note are

  • “THAT the Board authorize the Chair to hire an external representative of the ASBA to assist in the evaluation process of the Superintendent, with the request that Terry Gunderson be the representing agent,” in regards to the new powers being delegated to the superintendent to assign students to special education programs, and to transfer staff within the district.
  • New Policy 210.1 – DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION PLACEMENT
  • Changes to polices 510, 516, & 545 regarding delegating authority to the superintendent to transfer staff within the district. These changes seem to match entirely with the School Act.
  • Mrs. Freeman will be reporting on the Policy 622 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Consultation

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.

You go where we tell you to!

I’m going to read between the lines a little bit here, but basically, if you are not Catholic, you MUST send your kids to another school. If this goes all the way through the supreme court, then Catholic schools would be over enrolled, and under funded. This is unequivocally the government telling you that you can not send your child to a school of your choice unless you can prove that you are of the same religion.

This is why there are the whispers of ‘Catholic’ programs in public schools in Alberta. Alberta Education knows that there are many parents who choose to send their kids to Catholic or other independent schools, even though they are not Catholic. Alberta Ed is moving to shut down other school options as quickly as they can, but they can’t just outright shut them down, like they tried with WISDOM, so they are going to ‘entice’ parents to ‘choose’ the public system. If you cut the funding to other options, and offer ‘similar’ programs in the public schools, parents will ‘choose’ a single system.

It is the old gun to your head “your money or your life” type of choice. The average parent can not afford to send their kids to a school without subsidies, nor can they prove to be Catholic. Home schooling is simply impossible for most families, so what do you think parents will ‘choose’?

Should non-Catholic kids be allowed to attend Catholic schools?

What is the deal with the tablet/device program in SD76?

Last week, I shared a Breibart Article about a school device program. The title was a little odd for the content, but it was suggested that kids were being spied upon by the software on the devices. Accurate or not, that is not the main reason I shared it. The main point was that neither staff nor teachers seemed to know anything about the software on the devices. This is most concerning because what is the point of the program, if no one even knows what is in it.

Further, SD76 is bringing in a similar program, and they intend bring it in to younger classes. This was openly discussed by the board at their monthly meetings. The program in and off itself seems harmless, but there are some background items that need clarified before I and other parents concerns with it will be alleviated.

  1. Was a cost benefit analysis done, and if so, where can the details of that be found?
  2. What is the intended purpose of the program? If it is to make communication about assignments easier, why are individual devices needed? There are several software options available, that have existed for decades that are far more cost effective and robust than training all students and teachers on new proprietary devices or software. Proprietary devices also do not prepare the child to use common market devices once they graduate.
  3. What is the security on the devices, and what is the extent of the communication that goes on privately between student and teacher. There have already been cases in the US of 2 tier access to the devices. One for parents, and one for students. It was even discovered that the parent access had less information available than the student, and that districts were keeping key programming and assignment questions secret from parents. Private communication between students and teachers has repeatedly been shown to put students at risk to inappropriate relationships with their teachers.
  4. These programs have been tried before, and they were colossal failures. Have the lessens be learned from the past?It seems appropriate that more details and information be available to parents prior to pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the program. Hopefully this is something that the district will take into consideration moving forward.

Why the parents in Medicine Hat feel shut out.

Early this week, the message to include parents was brought to the Alberta Legislature. Thousands in Medicine Hat had been shut out by our elected Trustees. The local Media, and NDP activists took to deliberately twisting that message to suggest that parents wanted the ability to ‘out’ their children. That is not the case. Parents have been silenced by municipal, and provincial government, and anyone that stands up is smeared and harassed, or even threatened. No large media would even talk about what is going on in Medicine Hat, so we were left with little options.

There is a lot of history to why parents believe their School Board isn’t listening, and even actively suppressing parental involvement. So I’ve listed here a brief timeline. The appeal on March 13th was a culmination of all the actions that were taken by the Board. At any time they could have turned around and given open opportunity for genuine conversation, and parents would have accepted it. They unfortunately chose not to. The Board has not been working for the people, but for the provincial government. As public servants, they represent the will of the parents to the education ministry, not the will of the education ministry to the parents. They are bound to follow the law, but beyond the law, their actions are meant to be the will of the electorate. The democratic majority.

2016

  1. – February 23rd  Regular Meeting
  2. – Board discuses draft of policy 621 & 622. Promise to notify parents of dates and questions for  planned discussion with students about policies.
  3. – March 16th Notice given of restriction to 5 minutes speaking time. – In violation of board policy 203.2
  4. – March 22nd Regular Meeting – Delegations give 5 minute speeches (I am one of those delegates.)
  5. – March 29th Special Meeting – Ratify Policy 621 & 622, a promise to hold a town hall was made.
  6. – April 19th Regular Meeting – No town hall on agenda.
  7. – May 14th First notice of restricted public meeting – Violation of notice requirements in school act.
  8. – May 17th Regular meeting – Format for public meeting given only after request.
  9. – May 18th Request for copy of permission slips/notice for discussions that was promised in February
  10. – May 24th Public meeting – 3 questions asked of the public. Negative feedback discouraged. Trusstees do no answer concerns, nor speak at meeting.
  11. – June – Dr. Prince follows procedure to present to the board. Superintendent disallows it.
  12. – August 31st – Procedures implemented for 621 & 622 in a closed meeting.
  13. – September 19th Petition submitted to Secretary
  14. – September 20th Regular Meeting
  15. – Substantial policy changes & violation of SD76’s policy on posting of documents.
  16. Banning of all recording at public meetings without permission.
  17. – October first week – A teacher from the MH High School is intimidated because he was a witness and signed the petition. Told he was in violation of contract, despite signing on off time, before policies were in place. Info from the petition was obviously shared among administration.
  18. – October 7th Petition rejection letter given – Date of letter does not match date received.
    110 signatures of 2034 found to be out of region.
    259 signatures rejected for being only a postal code.
    Section 269 1(a) or school act not checked.
    Secretary says petitioners cannot have their petition back.
  19. – October 11th  Regular Meeting – Board officially rejects petition.
  20. – October 14th  E-mail requesting clarification sent to Secretary
  21. – October 17th Secretary refuses to give clarification
    Also refuses to examine petition for all avenues of sufficiency. (Section 269 1(a))
  22. – October 21st Appeal Application Filed. – Speak to Date set for November 17th
  23. – October 24th Notice of application of appeal given to Secretary and witnessed
  24. – November 8th First Contact with SD76’s lawyer of record
  25. – Request was made to postpone Speak to Date until today November 24th.
  26. – November 17th Speak to date, date of appeal set for March 10th.
  27. – December Board Meeting – After the meeting the Secretary finally gives some details on the rejected signatures. Threatens financial action against me for being “Frivolous and Vexatious” if I do not drop the appeal.

2017

  1. –  January 26th – ASBA lawyer makes similar threat. States they will be pursuing costs.
  2. –  March 10th  –  Appeal is heard by Justice Tilleman. Tilleman suggests that he will rule in favour of the board on the postal code contention, but states that the petition is the property of the petitioners, and can be amended and resubmitted contrary to the Secretaries statement that the petitioners could not do so. Effectively making whether the Justice overturns the secretaries decision a moot point, as it would be easy to collect the 110 signatures and fix the postal codes. Justice Tilleman reserves his decision on the matter until April 13th 2017.  Approx 100 concerned citizens back the court room. Requests for costs not mentioned during appeal. (However they were asked for in the Brief by the Respondent.)

Shortly after the decision was rendered last Thursday April 13th, 2017, Board chair Rick Massini shared the following comments in a chat news article:
“Massini says the board has been diligent with involving parents in the drafting of the policies, noting the policy has been discussed at the school council level, and a school council representative sits on the SD76 board.

“Parents in effect have direct access to policy development through their representative from the council of school councils,” he said.

The board also had three public meetings and a town hall in regards to the LGBTQ policy, says Massini.

Massini says SD76 is currently in the process of updating its LGBTQ policies, which it does each year. Massini adds the board is responsible for representing all students.”

Now these statements are effectually true, but they are not the whole truth. The 3 public meetings Massini spoke of were board meetings. All of which the public was not allowed to speak, save for the delegations that were given 5 minutes instead of the 15 granted in policy. The delegates were also not allowed to ask questions of the board, only answer if a question is asked of them. These meetings were ‘open’ to the public, as is the law, but the public was not open to engage the board. The only reason the public was even able to speak on March 29th, 2016, was because those that came refused to just sit by while the Board passed a policy that put their children at risk, and over extended the authority of the Board and Administration.

The whole truth about the so called “Town Hall,” is that it was in fact NOT a town hall. District Superintendent Mark Davidson, fresh to his new position, and during my first time meeting him, stated, “This is not a Town Hall.” But don’t take my definition of a Town Hall, here is the definition of a Town Hall courtesy of Merriam-Webster (emphasis mine)

 “:  an event at which a public official or political candidate addresses an audience by answering questions posed by individual members Town halls have lost some of their spontaneity. The 80 or so undecided voters chosen for Tuesday’s event must submit their questions in advance and moderator Candy Crowley of CNN will decide which people to call on. — Connie Cass”

The public meeting in May, which was sprung on residents of Medicine Hat with little notice, (less than what is outlined in the School Act,) did not allow for any answers to questions, and did not allow for direct communication between Trustees and the Public. It told the public what questions were being asked, and how to answer them. Not a single person who went to that meeting honestly called it a Town Hall. Not even Mark Davidson.

But this is how the current culture in government and education system works. They take a word, or phrase that has a common understanding, and make up a new meaning for it. They conveniently don’t tell the person that is hearing or reading it, that the meaning they think it has, does not in fact have the meaning intended. This is deception without a lie. It is the perverse manipulation of language to fool someone into accepting what was said.

We saw this with how the NDP government twisted the message of ‘include parents.’ The media and the NDP government took those words, applied their own made up meanings and understanding, and said that the message was “out the gays.” This is intentional deception, and unbecoming of those in authority. Whether journalist, trustee, or deputy premier, and might I say, a violation of oaths.

But let us get back to Massini’s comments. There is just one more truth I would like to point out. The ‘review’ of 622. There are a couple little tid bits that were left out. 1. As part of this years review, the Board wants to take out the yearly review on the policy, and 2. the only change they are making is that they will “without coercion, encourage children to speak to parents.” Also of note, is that at no time during this process did the Board ask parents what they thought should be changed. Not one of the parent councils that I heard from even conveyed that that was an option.

On the parent council’s being part of the process. I think you should know, that by the Trustees own admission some of the parent councils were not even going to bring it up with parents that the policy was open for review. One trustee engaged in ‘informing’ a parent council that ‘their is nothing to be concerned with’ in the policy, and to just pass it. One parent council didn’t even know that procedures existed for the policy, and were implemented in August of 2016. This is not even considering the fact that most, if not all parent councils have employees of the district sitting on them, and they ARE NOT ALLOWED to disagree with the board or they may have their employment terminated.

A public meeting, with a committee being formed, in a formal process under the School Act, is the ONLY way parents in Medicine Hat have any hope of being openly and honestly heard and to hold the Board accountable to that feedback.

Ask yourself this. Why does the board not want to let parents speak to them, why do they not want to ANSWER parents on the record, and why do they want to suppress discussion of and remove the yearly review of the first controversial policy in the districts history.

All hail state education. The choice you MUST make.

The vulnerable LGBT are simply the human fodder for the larger objective. A single ‘choice’ in education, and a state controlled ‘family’.

Red Deer public school trustee calls for unified Alberta school system

In order to understand, why the family is under attack by our government, and why a single state school system is seen to be the ‘fix’ for the ‘problem,’ one must understand how Karl Marx saw the family.

A really good article explaining this concept.

The family was seen by Marx as the prop for capitalism, and the key ‘instructor’ for passing on the capitalist mindset. Consciously or subconsciously. If the state were to become the primary instructor, then the capitalist idea of inheritance and personal ownership could be weeded out during the formative years.

Case dismissed….but wait, there is more!

(See bottom for brief summary)

Another morning at the Court of Queen’s Bench, although cold and windy, at least this time it wasn’t a snow storm. For the 40-50 people who showed in the court room at 9am, it was brief event. Justice Tilleman brought the court to order, introductions were made, and the Justice informed us that his written decision was to be handed out. He dismissed the appeal, and the court was adjourned.

There was a flurry of activity afterwards, as many had questions as to why it was so short. Even some of the reporters noted how brief the proceedings were. I know all of you are eager to here the details, and I apologize that I could not have written this sooner, but I too had to get back to work.

The main arguments that were addressed were:

  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.

Justice Tilleman began with a brief statement of background on the appeal, and discussed the nature of the appeal. In paragraph [16] he states that we were seeking clarification on the procedures for a petition. In [17] he notes some of the allegations regarding the behaviour of the board leading up to the submitting of the petition, but explains that they are outside the scope of the appeal, and mentions that although outside the scope, it does not mean that relief can not be sought via another avenue. (referencing argument 4)

In the final paragraph of the nature of the appeal [18], the Justice makes note of the fact that the petition that was submitted to the Board of SD76 can be amended to correct the deficiencies that were outlined by the Secretary. This means that we do not have to start again from scratch. Paragraph [18] is what allows us to collect 110 new signatures, and correct the 259. Since March 10th, we have collected 194 new signatures, and corrected 75 of those containing only a postal code. That means we only need to correct another 100 postal code signatures, or collect 100 new. I say we shoot for at least 144 to be on the safe side. If we can get 12 people to volunteer to collect 1 sheet each, we will have our goal. If they collect 2 sheets (24 signatures per person), we will be well within a safe buffer. You can download the petition sheets here.

In part IV. the Justice goes on to explain the standard of review. Both parties agreed on the standard of review, and so in this summary, I will skip over that part. The full text of Justice Tilleman’s decision can be found here.

In part V. the Justice analyzes the 3 remaining arguments. The first being the 25% condition. In paragraph [35] he explains that it would offend basic notions of fairness to expect the secretary to assist the petitioner in identifying the schools to which the signatories belonged. To do so would overlap the duties of the petitioner and the neutral decision maker. This is a fair point to be made. The Justice then explains in [36] that a second petition submitted (by Sheldon Johnston) 2 days later, had clearly outlined school and parent information. Mr. Johnston had informed me that he received the formatting for his petition from the Secretary. That petition was also rejected.

The second contention that Justice Tilleman’s deals with is the signatures with only a postal code. It was dealt with in paragraphs [37-48]. In which, the Justice states that it is a reasonable interpretation that postal codes are all that is need to identify if a signatory is an elector in Medicine Hat, and that it is relevant that the Lethbridge School Board allowed it. It was his judgment though that it could not be applied to all districts, and one School Board is not subject to the decision of another. He also noted, that although the intent of the law was to establish if a signatory was an elector, the wording of the law required a “postal address,” and the Secretary is bound to follow the wording. He therefor made the judgment that it was reasonable to exclude the 259 signatures.

The Final argument Justice Tilleman addressed was the 110. He noted that (we) the applicant did not contest this, only that the Secretary would not provide us with details in a timely fashion. (paragraph [13 & 14])

Based on these determinations, Justice Tilleman dismissed the appeal. No costs were awarded, or discussed.

So, in summary of the summary:

  1. Postal Codes are not sufficient. Full address must be supplied.
  2. 25% rule can only be evaluated if sufficient details about which school the parents child goes to are supplied on the petition.
  3. The petition we submitted on September 19th can be amended and re-evaluated. No deadline was given.

This was not an unexpected ruling. Although the appeal was dismissed, sufficient avenues were provided that allows us to complete the petition and have our committee, in a reasonable time frame. (And no costs were awarded.)

Press Release Regarding Hearing of Petition Appeal Decision

Here is the complete text of the press release that was sent to CHAT Radio, CJCY, and Praise FM.

————————————————————————————————————

Last October, a large number of concerned residents of Medicine Hat
submitted a petition to have a committee formed that would give
non-binding recommendation on the implementation of SD76’s Policy 621 & 622.

That petition was rejected, without being evaluated for all criteria
outlined in the School Act, and a number of signatures were deemed
disqualified by the Secretary of the Board.

Details were requested on the disqualified signatures and the Secretary
refused to provide them. Jeremy Williamson, who had submitted the
petition, then filed for appeal, on behalf of the signatories, with the
Court of Queens bench, asking that the Secretary’s decision be
overturned, as is the process outlined in the School Act.

Justice Tilleman heard the Appeal and Arguments on March 10th of this
year, and made note of the unprecedented crowd size in the court room.
The signatories of the petition consisted of more than 30 different
congregations and community groups in Medicine Hat, and spanned every
social, religious, and age of majority demographic including those who
identify as LGBTI.

On Thursday April 13, at 9am Justice Tilleman will be rendering his
verdict on the matter.

Mr. Williamson and the Concerned Parents of School District 76 invite
the public to attend and hear the Justice’s decision.

SD76 has asked that the case be dismissed and court fees be levied
against Mr. Williamson on the grounds that the appeal on behalf of 2034
concerned citizens is “frivolous and vexatious.”

Wow, the world has gone crazy!

Just got back today from a 7 hour back road trip from the Legislature. Juggling 3 children under 5. A crazy trip! So sorry James Wood from CHAT doesn’t understand when I told him I’d get back to him in a day or two. My family obligations are more important than his schedule! There is no way I’m having a conversation in sketchy cell service so that sentences are misinterpreted and misunderstood. Even though my husband called CHAT personally to inform them I was out of communication, they fictionally reported I was avoiding them. This is irresponsible and incompetent. Facts are the hallmark of good journalism. We live in a democracy where the exchange of ideas is supposed to be done with civility. I am happy to respond to competent journalists. Thank you to the many, many people supporting and praying for me and our parents. You are amazing!! Thank you!!

Maureen Prince, and the smear piece by James Wood

Today, “CHAT News Today” released an article (original has since been removed by CHAT, but I have a copy) [updated article] authored by James Wood. The main assertion of the article being that Mrs. Prince had somehow equated GSAs to the Residential Schools and Eugenics. This is a lie.

This is amateurish gutter journalism, and the facts do not fit the story. Any individual with a reading comprehension above the 2nd grade level can plainly see that Mrs. Prince was referring to how history has repeatedly shown that no government has the capability to replace the role of a parent, and that the Residential Schools and Eugenics are plain examples of government attempting to do so.

It was only in the comments, such as the one by Progress Alberta, an NDP front organization (Raj Pannu, former leader of the Alberta NDP sits on the advisory board), that that correlation was made. Note also that the comment was posted on April 11, while Mrs. Prince post was on April 4th.
The other commenter, who just ‘happened’ to see Mrs. Prince’s post 6 days after it was posted, is Lori Bauckman. You may remember her from a PC membership card ‘scandal‘ back in 2014. Mrs. Bauckman according to her Twitter profile is “Politics obsessed. Wife. Mother of two teens. Former Public School Trustee who believes it’s time for Alberta to have a single, publicly funded school system.” She expresses no lost love for the PCs or the Wild Rose. She also seems to advocate for a single forced education system.

The CHAT article has shown a complete lack of journalistic integrity, and although slightly re-worded from it’s original this morning, has not addressed the considerable political bias, and continues to report without having received any kind of a statement from Mrs. Prince. CHAT was informed by multiple individuals that she was in transit from Edmonton, and unable to respond right away.

Mrs. Prince’s message and the message of CPoSD76 has always been that parents are the first and primary care givers of our children, and that parents are the only ones with inalienable rights and authority over the children, barring proven neglect or abuse.

Maureen Prince has advocated for the protection of children with the Concerned Parents of SD76 for over a year now. She knows better than most just what the tyrannical agenda of the NDP education ministry is. I and the CPoSD76 stand with her unequivocally.

And you know what? I think you all need to watch this video again!

Residential Schools, and lessons from history.

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.

Daily Tidbit

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