[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.
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.
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.
The Concerned Parents of Medicine Hat School District #76
Back in March of 2016, two of the four delegations referenced a report from the ACPed that called the ‘trans’ movement abuse of children. Trustee Forbes asked, “Have you looked into what Canadian Pediatricians are saying.” I responded with admittedly a weak answer, that “Canadian politics are very different.”
I was surprised by the question, because it implied that ethnicity or country of origin had some sort of affect on the science. That unless ‘your people’ agreed, than there is no truth to the facts. What I was saying in my very confusing reply was that Canadian politics (and now law and policy) is influencing what pediatricians can and can not state. As you can see from the article below, politics in “Psychology Today” is trying to suppress the truth, even in the US. So I guess I should have said, country of origin makes no difference on the facts.
Yes, it is a thing. You can add it to the list I posted here[link fixed]. I will not put you through the suffering I had to endure while reading this supposed ‘peer reviewed’ paper. Suffice to say the author refers to the tumbler.com community of self-identified trans-species users as a serious source for their argument. Referring to the online community’s idea of ‘identity’ as transcending “human understandings of gender.” A couple of times referring to the “(magical) power of the hippo self.” Heavily relying on the “His Dark Materials” book series for insight. A series described by author Philip Pullman as being “about killing god.” I would even call the paper a hoax, if it were not for the fact that the author has as yet, not done so.
So what does this have to do with the educational, social, and physical concerns that parents of SD76 have? For one, it shows just how far the bar has fallen with regards to academic standards. Is one really supposed to take seriously the opining of a trans-hippo that relies on tumbler and a fictional novel for support? Where is the scientific analysis, and the observable, repeatable, and testable outcomes?
Secondly, most of the hysteria that came about in the spring of 2016 was as the result of a Study from the University of British Columbia, that itself fails in academic standards. A study conducted by a lobby group that openly admits that they are “a team of researchers dedicated to finding evidence-based strategies that will reduce stigma and improve resilience among vulnerable youth populations.” Dedicated to finding evidence to support their hypothesis, rather than testing it’s validity.
The aforementioned UBC study had 923 participants, (more than twice that signed our petition,) out of 35,939,927+ (~population of Canada at the time). 75% (~692) of which were 18 or older. 8% of which were not transgender(~74). The numbers alone would give any credible academic pause as to the significance of the results.
I’m not saying that the perceived results for that 1 study are wrong. I am suggesting that further evaluation and study needs to be conducted before one rewrites the very fabric of society, and overhauls the entire education system. Enshrining one study as the holy grail of data for tolerance and acceptance. All because 923 survey participants ‘may’ have ‘felt’ bullied. Let’s get a bit more actual science involved so that when this train derails, a whole generation of kids don’t get hurt.
Where does this all lead? Well, we have seen it leads to insane ‘papers’ that prop ‘identity’ as transcending human understanding, the magical wisdom of a hippo lady-man, (that is not an insult, that is how they identify.) It has given us policy 621 which expands authority of the district to dictate and monitor what children do outside school. It has given us a procedure for 622 that makes it an offense for teachers to suggest that maybe what the child identifies as is not right. (See here) It has given us a rejection of biology and science. It has stripped away the protection of our daughters (and our sons) from predators by taking away the protections based upon thousands of years of known human biology and behaviour. Simply so that 923 people out of 35 million can maybe not be made fun of for believing a delusion. (Only 2% of which are even still in school.) Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking 2017 was the year ‘xerkind’ evolved beyond human understanding into something godlike. Knowing gender as something existential.
During this years Alberta School Board Trustee elections, encourage grounded, rational, logical candidates to step forward. If you are not going to run, find out where the candidates stand on parental authority, school authority, social studies, and political ideologies. If you believe that political, religious, or social beliefs have no affect on how School Boards govern education, than you need to start paying attention. The sexology pushed into k-12 in the last two years is not because of a sudden realization of error in how kids have been educated. It is a push by every level of government to sexualize children, and expand dictatorial control to the exclusion of parents in EVERY way.
Unless sanity, logic, and reason are restored in our schools ,(and their governance,) you could soon find this song having entirely different connotations.
One of the concerns that parents in SD76 have is that Policy 622 does not establish just what constitutes a “Frivolous and Vexatious” case. The guidelines to best practices as put forward and endorsed by education Minister David Eggen is that a child can self identify as whatever gender they feel at whatever time. Even changing from day to day.
One of the topics that was discussed at length during the informal meeting in March of 2016 was what was the process that would be implemented to identify a frivolous case, and how a true case would be managed. Parents were ASSURED that a process would be worked out and that the details on that process would come out when procedures were written.
To this day, no “gate keeping” procedure or process has been written. (Or at least been publicly made available.) In fact 3 procedures have been written that actively inhibit a gate keeping process.
Procedures (j) and (k) are contradictory and dangerously so. Evidenced based (j) support will show that there are those (such as Carey Callahan) who have regretted becoming trans and de-transed, but that would be a violation of (k).
Procedure (l) puts children at risk because it does not allow for professionals to evaluate if the child is suffering from some other condition, (gate keep.) If a teacher can not divulge the information concerning a student’s health and mental state, than it could progress further and lead to increased risk of self harm. Procedure (l) is also a violation of the Family Law Act as stated here.
The situation as it stands now leaves parents out of the loop, and allows individuals without professional medical or psychological training, to make life altering determinations for minors, that if misdiagnosed could lead to serious harm. The concerns parents have with 621 and 622 are not over with.
Well, it has been a long road. I’ve been to 14 board meetings now. Last night’s meeting was no different. Each one being pretty much the same. Crowd sizes varying. Feb, 2016 – 20+, March Regular – 40+, March Special – 90+, April 0 – as no one knew where to go, May Public 120+. Obviously parents had and have concerns over Policies 621 and 622. So how DID the board respond? Well, I’ve posted here a short list of why the parents of SD76 were not satisfied with the process, and why I was forced to go to court on behalf of the parents. Yet, as was the case in several other board meetings, the parents got a ‘lecturing’ by a Trustee about how ‘open’ and attentive they were to parental concerns, without actually addressing a single concern that was brought up, or issue with the process. And there were issues. I wrote about them here.
So, where did that leave us? Well, we were told by Trustee Riley last Tuesday that we were wasting the administrations time by continuing to press the issue, when it is “done”. Mr. Riley even going so far as to say that they would not be looking at this issue again unless legislation is changed. Stating that the parents were operating out of fear of change. Even quoting F.D.R.’s famous statement on fear.
I guess what parents are supposed to take away from that is, being afraid for the safety of children, is irrational. I guess we all should just accept that our child’s well being is up to the board. Just ignore the fact that gender politics have been banned in parts of Australia (NSW) because of the proven risk it poses to the well being of children. Just ignore the fact that predators have already used gender politics to victimize children. Just ignore the fact the GSA’s are being used to promote high-risk homosexual life style, and teaching such wonderful things as “Anal Phisting”, and “Golden Showers.” Just ignore that the district have set no standards as to age appropriateness. (So you know, 4 of the 5 trustees have told me that there are 6 & 7 year old children in the district who are trans. As if a 7 year old’s mind is even developed enough to understand the concept.)
It is reckless and irresponsible to refuse to look at a policy unless and only if a change in legislation is made. (Not to mention that is a direct contradiction of the amendment that was just past to 622. Which stated that any further amendments to the policy shall be in accordance with the existing procedures on policy amendment.) It is clear that the board does not have an accurate understanding of the legislation, and as such, the policies need to be adjusted. Mr. Riley stated that children have a right to privacy when sharing information with teachers. Citing Bill 10, the Alberta Bill of Rights, and the Canadian Charter of rights as his bases for this believe. In fact the word privacy does not exist in any of the sources cited. In fact, Bill 10 states the following:
I could find no reference in the Canadian charter that refers to student child confidentiality or privacy. Perhaps Mr. Riley was referring to the Privacy Act, but that act is in reference to the retention of private data by government bodies.
(6)Except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, each guardian may exercise the following powers:
Mr. Riley quite correctly states that the Trustees swore an Oath to follow the lawful commands of the Education Minister. However, Minister David Eggen’s command to keep secret from parents information to which they are legally entitled is an UNLAWFUL command, and by their oath, they should refuse to follow it.
I believe fear is leading this issue, but it is not an irrational fear of change. No, it is a culture of fear perpetuated by Alberta Education (ATA,PSBA,ASBA, etc…), the NDP government, and their front groups like “Progress Alberta” and “iSMSS.” Driven by the aggressive behaviour of the LGBT… groups that threaten, harass, and bully.
This culture of fear is even embedded deep within SD76. From notices passed around by the ATA, to taking teachers aside and reprimanding them for being witness to a petition. This is a culture of cover up, silence, and oppression. I’ve never even gone into the questionable ‘hearings’ policies. That is a whole other mess entirely. There is a reason our little website has had over 53,000 visits in a month. Those parents, staff, and electorate who have been abused and maligned by the system know they can come to me, and others on this site, and share their stories without being exposed to the attacks and social media witch hunt that would surely follow.
Now, I have been accused of being aggressive as well, but there is a difference. The things I have said are true. They are predominately first hand quotes, and are experiences I have personally been privy to. Yes, not everything I have said is flattering to those individuals, but those who are directing the education of our children must be held accountable for their words and actions. They are the examples to our children, and they exert great influence over them.
As I have stated in the past, I am no stranger to bullying. I have been on the receiving end of a ‘hazing,’ and been mocked for the hobbies I enjoy. I can identify the difference between criticism and bullying. Many of the things I’ve said or accusations I have made were submitted in my affidavit during the appeal, and I swore before God that they were true, under penalty of law. The appeal process even gave the district’s lawyer the chance to cross examine (question my statements), and they did not do so.
That brings us to the petition. Why DID I feel compelled to appeal this particular petition, the first case of it’s kind in Canadian history? If you believe the ill-researched articles in the media, it was because we wanted to waste everyone’s time, and we are on the hunt to ‘out’ all the LGBT…. If you believe the board, it was because we were afraid of change, and would not accept that the issue was ‘done’ before it had ever even begun.
So, why not ask the man that appealed to the court? Why not ASK him why he felt obligated to appeal? Surely the man who filed the petition, and it’s appeal could tell you why he appealed. Surely the source would be the best place to get the information as to motivations? Well, I have stated here before why I felt obligated to appeal, (via the main contentions argued in court) but I suppose a reiteration of those reasons is necessary.
There were in fact two more reasons that the petition was appealed, but more time was spent in the filings, that addressed those two issues, than was spent during arguments in the appeal. The two additional reasons were:
As the individual who submitted the petition, it was my responsibility to make sure a fair and just evaluation was conducted. If you subtracted the 110 signatures that they said were out of district, that left 1924 tax payers in the lurch. After a petition is rejected, the School Act specifies that an appeal to the Court of Queens Bench is the only option left available. Although some would have you believe that it was a fruitless endeavor, Paragraph 18 of the Justice Tilleman’s judgment proves otherwise. In it, he recounts how the district stated that we could in fact amend our petition for re-evaluation. This was, as I’ve said, contrary to what they had said before the appeal.
Finally, what about the cost? Well, there were several opportunities before the petition to have genuine, bidirectional dialogue between parents and the board, but parents only met with resistance. At one point, parents were even told that it was up to the courts to figure this all out. But when parents went to court, they were being “Frivolous and Vexatious.” The fact of the matter is, the justice had 3 opportunities to declare our case frivolous. During the speak to date, where the merits of our appeal were evaluated, during the proceeding of the appeal, and during the rendering of the judgement. The districts lawyer ALSO had opportunity to argue to the justice that we were being vexatious. In neither the appeal proceedings, or the rendering of the judgement, were costs brought up.
[UPDATE: There is apparently no way to get the clarification I was seeking. A response of agreement to the costs as levied by SD76 has been sent to their lawyer.]
As was stated in the Medicine Hat News, we will be paying the $2300 bill as was received. I am in the process of attempting to get clarification from Justice Tilleman as to whether it was his intent in his judgement for us to pay costs. I am currently awaiting a call back from resolution services. The Board has given me a deadline of May 26th to respond to their request. This gives me a few days to get that clarification. I want to make it very clear, I am not paying this bill because I believe I was in the wrong in taking it to court. If I had to, I would do it all over again. It is silly to suggest that ‘not pursuing costs’ would set precedence forcing the district to forgive costs on any other potential case. Each case is unique, and the decision could be made at that time.
On the matter of ‘wasted money,’ I want to leave you with a few facts:
A quick recap of the board meeting. I am writing a more thorough walk through, but due to constraints on my time, I was unable to complete it tonight, so here is the tl;dr.
As for the your vote on how the CPoSD76 should proceed.
Given that costs were not rescinded, even more votes from 1 would be shifted to 2.
A meeting for signatories and stake holders in the petition will be held on the 27 of May. Venue TBA.
Tonight at 6pm is the monthly SD76 public board meeting.
There are a few major items on the agenda for the meeting.
The Agenda, and all relevant documents can be found here.
A final note: Results of the vote on how to proceed will be available Wednesday.
Last 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.