Tag Archive 622

Press release regarding amended petition deadline.

Media Release

2017 July 21

Concerned Parents of SD76

Re: Amended Petition

 

We have resubmitted the Amended Petition which now meets the extra conditions requested by SD76.

 

We have gone the extra mile as requested by the School Board.  The Amended Petition submitted June met all the criteria outlined by the judge in our appeal, but the Board requested we reformat a few things to technically fit their interpretation.  We have now done that.

 

They testified in court that 30 names on the original were valid, but subsequently went back to challenge them.  Although we don’t believe we were required to do so, we have collected 75 replacement names as an act of good faith.

 

As directed by the judge, we have submitted additional information to complete the addresses on 118 of the original submissions that only had a postal code.  The School Board requested that rather than submit that information as a summary list, that we add it directly to the original lines of the petition, which we have now done.

 

The amended petition is now complete.  The petition meets all the criteria established by the School Act as clarified by the Judge in our prior appeal.  We look forward to working with the Board to complete this petition process and to be able to provide them with our concerns on policies 621 and 622.

 

Since the petition, we have done a lot of work with the Board, and have forged a lot of common understanding, but the Board is in a tough place.  The Minister has given them direction on these issues, and they feel bound to follow that direction.  As parents however, we disagree with the direction the Minister is heading.  The petition, as established by the School Act, is the means to officially voice opposition to what the Board decided.  This then allows them to convey that official opposition to the Minister.

 

We believe that further rejection of a legitimate petition by the Secretary or the Board can only be seen as defiance of the Judges ruling and obstructionist behaviour to avoid listening to Concerned Parents.

 

 

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Update! Update! Update!

Thanks to the threats against me recently, last night the CPoSD76 website crossed over 100,000 hits after only 3 months of operation. Several thousands since the news broke. Based on projections, 100,000 was a feat I wasn’t expecting the site to achieve for another week and a half. Over the last couple of days I and the CPoSD76 have received numerous e-mails and phone calls of support, and asking me to keep up the good fight. In fact, all of them, who had never signed the petition, asked where they could sign. This was a problem, as it became time consuming to write back each person asking.

So thanks to the generosity of local churches, this Sunday is going to be a petition Signing day.

If you:

  • Are a Canadian Citizen over 18
  • Live within the boundaries of School District #76
  • Have not declared support for the Catholic School Board
  • And have not signed the petition before

Sunday July 16th

From 11:00 to 11:30 AM at
Victory Lutheran Church 2793 Southview Drive SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 2H1
T: 403-527-5617 E: contact@victorylutheran.ca

OR

From 11:00am – 12:00pm at
Medicine Hat Christian Reformed Church, 300 Primrose Drive SE, Medicine Hat, AB  T1B 3S9
403 529 5650
ALSO
If you are unable to make the petition signing events, you can contact us, and will be do our best to have a volunteers arrange a meet up to sign the petition.
We got 1500 signatures in a weekend before. Based on the support throughout the community, 138 should be a cake walk.
With 138 signatures, parents will finally be heard by their elected representatives.

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More Journalistic failure, and the petition amendment.

tl;dr – Why did the amendment fail? The Secretary changed the understood expectations for the 111 amended postal code signatures, and decided that there were more signatures in the original that didn’t qualify. Parents now know they are playing Calvinball.

Accurate Report on the Petition Amendment Rejection:

On June 20th, the CPoSD76 amended their petition. I received notice that a decision of the sufficiency of the petition had been made on or about 3:30pm Thursday July 6th. It was requested that I come and meet with the superintendent at 8:30AM July 7th. Despite the short notice, I informed the superintendent’s office that I would make the meeting.

I was informed that they had decided that the amendment was insufficient because they had rejected all 111 amended postal code signatures on the grounds that they we not re-signed each in their entirety, even though that was not a requirement discussed during the March 10, 2017 appeal. Even though the Justice said that even a photocopy would have been good enough, as the point of their rejection was that the secretary would have had to have exerted extra effort to ascertain the electoral status of the signature.

In addition to the 111 corrected postal signatures, I submitted 286 new signatures with the amendment. The secretary claims that 3 of those signatures have addresses outside the boundaries, and 1 was missing a character on the postal code. He further claims that 19 of the signatures are duplicates of signatures on the original petition. A claim that is currently being verified. Put simply,

Original Petition:

  • 1629 signatures were determined to be acceptable and uncontested through the proceedings by Court of Queen’s Bench.
  • 2000 are required to have a petition accepted.
  • 371 was the shortfall.

The Amendment:

  • 397 Total
  • 4 allegedly erroneous signatures
  • 19 claimed to be duplicates
  • 374 Remaining.
  • 374 > 371.

The Secretary claims to have done not the first, or the second, but the THIRD review of the Original petition, AFTER it was stated to the Justice that 1629 signatures on the original were not contested. In his third exemplary review of the original petition he claims to have found 30 duplicated signatures that had previously not been noticed by himself, his staff, or his legal council. 374 – 30 = 344.  344 < 371.

  • 111 – again rejected postal code signatures
  • 27 – Needed new signatures
  • 138 – What the board is asking us to get by July 21 (Which is the deadline for appealing to the Court of Queen’s Bench again, not entirely the boards deadline.)

The Grossly inadequate Articles in both Medicine Hat News & CHATNews:

I will not go into details on all of the errors in the two articles at this time, however I will state that neither of the news agencies attempted contact myself or the CPoSD76 prior to publishing their articles. An e-mail from MHN was sent to my personal account at 1:19PM, AFTER they published their article, and stating that they were “looking for a short, written comment to use”, to have it to them “before 4 p.m,” and criteria given by which the CPoSD76 comment must be framed. I did not know of the e-mail until 8pm. Both articles portrayed the numbers of the amendment inaccurately, and in a negative light.

Questions for your consideration:

Why didn’t they want to get a comment before publishing?

Why didn’t they ask the board why they needed to review the petition so many times if they had already done a thorough evaluation in Oct, 2016?

Why didn’t they ask the board why they would lead parents and the Justice to believe that all they needed to do to correct the postal code signatures was get the addresses, if that is not what they wanted/required?

Why didn’t they ask ANY questions of the CPoSD76, but simply want a statement?

Why  didn’t they report that board and admin question the legality of Justice Tilleman’s decision to allow an amendment, but choose not to pursue a challenge of it?

A reporter wanting to get the truth, and facts would have asked questions. None were asked.

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Petition Status Report

It has been 2 weeks since the CPoSD76 submitted their amendment to the Petition. Considering that an amendment to a petition had not been done before, upon giving the amendment package to the Secretary, I requested a timeline on it’s evaluation. Witnessed by the Chairman of the Board, and other concerned parents, I inquired whether we could expect the timeline outlined in the School Act. Both the Secretary and the Chairman stated that we could.

Section 269 of the School Act States – “269(1) When a board of a district situated wholly or partly within the boundaries of a city receives a petition calling for a public meeting that is signed
(a) by 25% of the parents, who are also electors, of the students in a school, or
(b) by the lesser of
(i) 2000 electors, and
(ii) 25% of the electors,
the board shall within 21 days from the date that it receives the
petition (in this case, the amendment) publish notice of the public meeting to be held under this
section in accordance with section 270.”

At this point, we have only to wait. Since the Legal Council for the District informed the Justice during the appeal that the district was not contesting any other aspect of the petition, other than what was addressed in the amendment, we need have only to wait for the evaluation. With only 400 signatures to evaluate, I expect we should hear from the Secretary soon.

A post will be made as soon as a response from the District has been received. Thank you for your patience.

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Interphobia, Journalistic Malpractice, & The Smear Campaign Against CPoSD76


Last Wednesday, the 21st of June, 2017, Tim Kalinowski of Medicine Hat News(MHN) wrote an article about the CPoSD76 submitting an amendment after the June 2017 Board meeting, to their petition that was presented to the Board on September 19th 2016. There were two key problems with this article, one of which being a serious instance of journalistic malpractice, and the other being of a derogatory and disrespectful nature.

The two issues are intertwined both being the cause of, and symptom of each other. I’m going to try and make that statement make sense, but it is going to involve a bit of the history of who I am, and what has happened with the Board of SD76 since February of 2016.

Back in Feb, 2016 I attended my first ever Board Meeting, as my daughter had just started attending Kindergarten at a School within SD76s authority. Like thousands of other parents across Alberta, I was alarmed at the crass way in which Minister Eggen was bullying his agenda onto all the boards in Alberta. From the tone and tenor of the February meeting, I immediately knew I had to give a presentation to the Board, and be active in the fight to protect all children from the dangerous and reckless policies that were being brought in under the guise of ‘safe and caring’.

During the March 2016 regular Board Meeting, I gave a presentation on some of the concerns I had with Board Policy 621, and 622. Keep in mind, at the time, I did not know the final wording of the policy, nor did I know the procedures that would be implemented the following school year. My concerns have only expanded since then.

If you watch the presentation, you will note that I publicly came out as intersex. (Peggy Revell of MHN was there for the presentations, and reported on them.) Before I prepared my presentation, only 5 people (that I am aware of) in my life knew about my defect. My parents, my spouse, the doctor who delivered me, and one friend in my entire life that I felt comfortable enough with to share that personal detail about myself.

In the days leading up to my presentation I struggled with weather I should out myself like that.

In the days leading up to my presentation I struggled with weather I should out myself like that. I wondered at the harm it might bring to my family, what it might do to my social life. Would I be subject to the ridicule that the LGBTQIA2S+(LGBT) were saying was happening at epidemic levels. The harassment and discrimination that was sure to follow, as I understood it, was going to drive me to thoughts of suicide.

In the days leading up to my presentation, I shared my ‘family secret’ with a couple more people in order to test the waters, and see what they thought about me ‘going public’. Those people supported me in my decision to go public. They believed that no better candidate existed to raise the alarm about the policies, than someone who the policies were purported to protect.

After I came out, I did not receive the discrimination that the LGBT led me to believe would follow. No religious zealots screaming about how I was an abomination. I didn’t lose my job, or get calls from my mortgage provider. Yes there were a few very awkward conversations afterwards, more because of human curiosity, than because of aversion to who I was.

No, the discrimination that I have gotten, has been of a more sinister nature. It has been a concerted effort to demean, discredit, and erase and rewrite who and what I am, and the values I represent. This brings me to the first issue with Tim Kalinowski’s article.

During the interview about the petition amendment, Mr. Kalinowski specifically asked me about the “Christian Evangelical” values of the CPoSD76, and what mutual agreement the group could hope to achieve with the board. I made a clear distinction to Mr. Kalinowski between what my values may be, and what the values of the group may be. Despite this clear fact, and the fact that the article was not an opinion piece, Mr. Kalinowski decide to inject his opinion into the article in the midst of quoting me. He stated that “our particular (Christian) values” were what we were trying to convey. Despite me clearly stating that I was talking about the group values and not my own, he misconstrued what values the CPoSD76 represent.

The values that the CPoSD76 hold have been clearly evident for months, and can be easily found.

The values that the CPoSD76 hold have been clearly evident for months, and can be easily found. Our values cross religious and political boundaries. Our values are shared by over 30 different community organizations across Medicine Hat. Those values are Family values. They are community values. They are values that unite, rather than divide and isolate into ‘victim’ groups. They are values that joined groups together that have not worked together for over 100 years. They are values shared by Theists and Atheists. By many who identify as LGBT. Despite what the likes of David Eggen and Christopher Wells would have you believe.

As I’ve stated, the fact that the values of the CPoSD76 are shared by so many has been readily apparent for months. It was stated on the Petition Submission in September 2016. It has been stated multiple times in media releases. It has been stated on this website since it’s launch over 2 months ago, and it has been stated in our facebook group. In fact, it has even been shown on MHN’s own website. On the same day that Mr. Kalinowski published his article, MHN conducted a poll, asking if people agreed with the CPoSD76. The results of which was that 54% agreed, and 34% did not. (12% were unsure.)

Despite the numerous sources of information that could have been drawn upon to find out what the values are of the CPoSD76, Mr. Kalinowski decided it was better to re-frame them as Christian values. Why is that? Well, the reason is because my being an intersex person does not fit the narrative of the “LGBT” trade mark, which is a whole separate ‘group’ than the average LGBT person you would meet on the street, or for instance, the type that would sign our petition. Lets call this group the LGBT™ for the sake of clarity.

…they believe themselves to have transcended human understanding of ‘identity’ and ‘gender.’

The LGBT™ are a political group. They are a group that wants power, and wants all barriers and norms around sexuality completely abolished. They hate traditional family, and they hate religion. They hate the natural, common values of over 90% of the population, that have been held for millennia, and as explained in my “Trans-Hippo” post, they believe themselves to have transcended human understanding of ‘identity’ and ‘gender.’ As a result the LGBT™ believe themselves to be better than you or I. After all, they have a more divine understanding than you or I.

Naturally, since the LGBT™ wants power, they gravitated towards those of a totalitarian nature, in order that they might pass the laws that grant them such power and protections. This is why we have Bill 10, the Guidelines to Best Practices, PRISM, C-16, Bill 89. These all grant the LGBT™ the power to force the destruction of the long held family values, and by threat of imprisonment or the loss of your Children, force the acceptance of only the LGBT™‘s errant view. Even if a contrary view is coming from an LGBTQIA2S+ person. But like Icarus in his hubris flying to close to the sun, so has the hubris of the LGBT™ risen.

This whole hysteria started around a study from UBC that said Trans people were suicidal, and had ‘perceived’ to have been ‘bullied’ at some point in their youth. The study didn’t go into detail about who they might have been bullied by, or what that ‘bullying’ even looked like. I’ve written at length about this, but suffice to say, the case study wasn’t even random, which is standard practice in reputable studies.

The LGBT™ then latched onto this study and ran like wild fire with it. Completely ignoring decade old data that showed that ‘approving’ of the Trans life style, and societal acceptance of it made negligible (google “post opp trans still suicidal”) difference in the suicide rate of Trans people. Multiple sources, some of which I cited in my e-mails to the board before my presentation, were ignored in favour of pushing the LGBT™ agenda. Worse still, even post-op trans people have nearly the same suicide rate as pre-op.

The wax was beginning to drip from the LGBT™’s wings.

Team LGBT™ knowing these facts to be true, knew of the flaw in their logic. Que team LGBTi. The argument then went like this. “You know, some people are born with the wrong sex organs. Some even have both. These intersex people have had the wrong identity forced upon them by doctors and parents, therefor they should get to choose. Gender Fluidity, it’s a thing.”

LGBTi said they were just speaking up for those intersex people that were to afraid to identify with their ‘true’ gender. But then I spoke up, and roundly denounced their proposed policies, proving that the LGBTi were not in fact speaking for intersex people. So back to LGBT™, and now it was about the GSA’s. Then the Gay porn links were discovered. (Which I warned would happen only a week before, because it happened in the UK.) Then it was about outing the gays. Except that GSAs have gay and straight attending, and keeping extracurricular activities secret from parents is illegal. The wax was beginning to drip from the LGBT™’s wings.

Elsewhere, on a different front another battle was raging. You will remember I said, the LGBT™ knew of their flawed logic? While the battle Raged in Alberta, Parliament was lobbied by the LGBT™ to pass C-16. C-16 is “An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code” to compel people to use the preferred pronouns of a persons self identified gender. On June 15th, 2017, C-16 became law. Each person in conversation, if told of the preferred pronouns of the other person, must use their preferred pronouns, or will be found to have violated their human rights, and may now be found to have committed a hate crime against the person who identified their pronouns.

This finally brings us to the second problem with Mr. Kalinowski’s article. That of the fact that he willfully refused to use my preferred pronouns. C-16 specifically protects my gender identity. At the very beginning of the interview, Mr. Kalinowski asked me to state my name into his recorder. I did so, and specifically stated my preferred pronouns, to which he chuckled.

Thinking that this may have simply happened because Mr. Kalinowski was unaware of the passing of C-16, I e-mail him and MHN on June 21, asking that he show me the respect I am legally due, and to correct the inaccurate statement of the Christian values of the CPoSD76. I asked that these simple corrections be done within 24hrs. As of today, the 25, I have seen no such correction, and received no response to my e-mail.

This is not the first time inconvenient facets of the the LGBT™ narrative have been ignored in order to silence, and oppress those that have not capitulated to it. In the 16 months that this safe and caring agenda has been pushed, I have been directly insulted by administration, accused of altering recordings to make the Board look bad, of violating FOIP laws, threatened with legal action beyond simply court costs, and I’m intersex.

If those are the lengths they go to silence and discredit an intersex person, what do you think they are doing and will do to people who have no claim to minority protections? Just how safe and caring do you think your ‘cis’ children are going to be from bullying and oppression by the LGBT™. When policies are written specifically to reject to even HEAR an opposing view, no matter the scientific evidence, as 622 is. What lengths do you think they will go to to impose their own form of bigotry? That is what it is after all, pure unadulterated bigotry. If you have a better word for an intolerance of any opinion other than your own being represented or even allowed, an intolerance of any other type or form of education, I would be happy to hear it.


 

Definition of bigotry

plural

bigotries

  1. 1 :  obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices :  the state of mind of a bigot overcoming his own bigotry

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Policy 622 endorses child abuse.

(Image of Cari Stella, a de-transitioned person.)

A response to Chairman Rick Massini’s response.

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:

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Vote Results!

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)

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The Chairman of the Board has responded

[Update: Please, everyone that is able, vote. The higher the number of votes I get, the better reading I have on what the public will is, and the more credibility there is in the option chosen moving forward. I intend on closing the vote on Friday the 16, and if option 1 is in the clear majority, I will formally amend the petition ASAP.]

Last week the Concerned Parents of SD76 presented an open letter to the Board of SD76, asking how they would like to proceed. The Board was presented in the letter with 2 options. Amend the petition and have it proceed as outlined in the school act, or work together to set up a public meeting that would be satisfactory to both sides. Given that parents want an opportunity to have bidirectional dialogue with the Board, and to put the concerns of parents to rest.

On Sunday June 11, 2017, the Chairman, Rick Massini, gave a response to one of the CPoSD76. He stated that he had spoken with the board, and that they had decided to just have us submit a written summary of our concerns, and that they would accept it for information at their next Board Meeting. (Presumably the June 20th meeting.) The Board would then give a written response to those concerns.

He further stated that there was to much on the agenda for the next meeting, and too many things going on into the summer to make time for the options presented in the open letter. It was clarified to Mr. Massini by the CPoSD76, that if parents went with the amendment of the petition, the school act requires that they make the time. It was also stated that the school act timeline would be more aggressive than if a mutually satisfactory meeting were worked out with parents.

Compiling and submitting parent concerns by Friday the 16 is an impossible timeline, (Friday is when all documents for the June 20th board meeting will be available on the sd76.ab.ca website,) so that means if parents wish to submit them, they would not be responded too until after the September Board meeting. Which would be the last board meeting before the Municipal Trustee Elections. It would also mean that trustees would not be a part of that process, like it would be as outlined in the School Act.

As I am only one of the CPoSD76, and up to this point I have not acted on my own, but with the input of and endorsement of other concerned parents, I am presenting parents with one last vote on this matter.

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A conference wake up call. Parents are losing to the state…

What a weekend! The Southern Alberta Conference on the Family was a smashing success! Hardly an empty seat in the room. Theresa Ng, Donna Trimble, and John Carpay all gave articulate well researched presentations, with a clear warning to Parents, that their rights are being stripped, and the family is under direct attack. It is clear that fundamental changes are being implemented in Alberta Education that put children at risk, and shake the very foundations of a free and prosperous society. The situation is dire throughout Canada, not just in Alberta. We can not express enough, the gratitude we have for the guest speakers who were willing to come together and equip parents with the resources they need to prepare for the attacks that are coming, and have already been implemented.

 

 

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An open letter to the board of trustees for SD76

June 7, 2017
Rick Massini
Board Chair
Medicine Hat School District 76
601 1 Ave. S.W.
Medicine Hat, AB T1A 4Y7

An open letter to the Board of Trustees of Medicine Hat School District #76

Dear Rick Massini,

For the past 15 months the Concerned Parents of SD76 have indicated to the Board our concerns over the wording and procedures for SD76’s policy 621 and 622. In February 2016, when more than 20 people showed up for the February Board meeting, Trustees made note of the unusually large crowd. In the months that followed, that crowd size only increased, and that gave significant indication to the Board that those parents had growing concerns, that were not resolved.

In March 2016, through the presentations of four different delegations, parents made clear the broad nature of their concerns. Parents continued to share yet more concerns with the board after the March 2016 Special meeting to pass 621 & 622. Throughout that meeting no one engaged in bullying or harassment. Parents simply had questions and concerns that they did not feel had been answered in the policies. Parents were then promised a Town Hall, where by they could express those concerns, and ask their questions.

Both parents and electorate were deeply disappointed when it was revealed to them in May of 2016 that they would not have a Town Hall, but instead a meeting restricted to small group discussions with other parents. Discussions where no questions could be asked of the Trustees, and no answers would be provided. Parents were in fact given the questions that they were to answer.

Parents and electorate, then feeling snubbed and condescended to, understood that they had no other recourse but to utilize Section 269 of the School act, to submit a petition calling for a public meeting. Section 269 of the Alberta School Act had never been utilized before in SD76, and had rarely been drawn on in other districts of Alberta. A section specifically designed to allow parents and electorate to force a Board to be held to account by the public, when they feel they have no other recourse.

Parents didn’t just want to drop cards into a suggestion box. They wanted to have answers to clear inconsistencies with the policies and the recommended guidelines coming from Alberta Education. When the Secretary rejected the petition in September 2016 and refused to give clarifications, stating that he was not going to “spend any more time on this,” it was clear that the matter had to go to the courts; in order to get a fair hearing.

The only way for the signatories to get the clarification that they were refused, was to appeal as was their right under the School Act. By following the process under the law, parents and electorate were able to obtain 4 key clarifications, that otherwise would have been unobtainable: the Secretary was forced to provide the clarifications he had previously refused to give; the matter of the signatures that only had postal codes was firmly resolved, with the Justice stating that the parents had a “reasonable interpretation” to expect them to be accepted, despite ultimately being told they needed to be completed/corrected; precedence was established to state that if a petition seeks to be evaluated for the “25% of the parents in a school” clause, then school information needs to be given by the signatories; most importantly the districts lawyer informed the Justice that our petition could be amended to correct deficiencies and that there was no time limit, with the Justice even referencing those statements in paragraph 18 of his ruling. Justice Tilleman also made it clear during the appeal that the petition was the property of the submitter, and that it should be returned to them upon request.

In the weeks following Justice Tilleman’s decision, parents in SD76 have diligently set about to correct the deficiencies outlined by the Justice. In doing so, 300 new signatures have been obtained thus far, and a substantial number of the ‘postal code’ signatures have been corrected. There is an expectation that an amended petition would meet the requirements under the School Act; to call a public meeting as outlined on the petition. Parents and electorate of SD76 are at a junction, and we are offering to let the Board choose the path taken.

Since the Board decided to pursue a Bill of Costs from Mr. Williamson, the Parents decided that they would not seek to have the board attend a Concerned Parents of SD76 group meeting. The Parents do not believe that a concern by the chair of the Board over “setting a precedent” was sufficient justification to pursue costs. The now 2300+ tax paying electorate who have signed the petition do not think it was a waste of their tax dollars to call a public meeting, nor do they feel it was a waste of their time to force the clarifications via appeal that had been refused by the Secretary. The entire process could have been avoided had the Board simply been willing to have official interactive dialogue with concerned parents.

At this point, considering the position that SD76 has taken, there are only two possible paths forward: Amend the petition and have the process proceed under the School Act, with all the formal procedures that accompany that; or, work with the Board to see an agreeable formal interactive meeting between concerned parents and the Board.

The Parents understand that the Board have some concerns with security and conduct at such a meeting. Parents do not wish to see such a meeting hijacked by activists, lobby groups, or media frenzy any more than the Board does. The Parents are willing to work out a format with the board that would see both parties concerns mitigated, as long as such a meeting would see both the policy concerns of the parents and the responses of the Board to those concerns recorded into the public record.

We respectfully request that the Board provide an answer as to how they would like to proceed by June 12th, 2017.

Sincerely,

The Concerned Parents of Medicine Hat School District #76

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