Include parents. Such a simple phrase. Who knew it would represent the feelings of so many parents and children in our city, province and beyond.
With the NDP controlled Alberta Education, implementing actions to remove parents from their role as primary care givers, parents had a problem.
In cities all over the province, Parents were leaping into action. Contacting school boards, administrators and teachers. Parents showed up to school board meetings like never before. Peaceful rallies had thousands in attendance.
Finding themselves threatened and coerced, school boards seldom gave parents opportunity to express concerns or impact policy or procedures.
A few brave school boards stood up to Mr. Eggen and his new policies only to find themselves in the crosshairs of his wrath.
A few cities managed to get thousands of signatures to demand a meeting with their school boards in hopes of making recommendations that would be more student/parent friendly.
Our city had a petition of over 2,000 names asking for a formation of a committee to make recommendations addressing these policies and procedures. When it was found insufficient, we took it to appeals court, hoping some of the excluded signatures would be found valid. Or that we met a secondary criteria, in the school act.
We await the Judge’s decision this Thursday.
So, what role do these simple buttons play? With a circle of children, surrounding the words “Include Parents” what does it have to do with this political paradox?
They represent, that all children need their parents. Children, by very definition, need parents to protect, guide and care for them. By law we are responsible to direct the education of our children and their day to day activities, including extracurricular activities.
But, our voices, and the law, have been ignored and belittled. So, the button is a visual declaration, that can’t be silenced.
We will stand in solidarity, to safeguard our children. We will not abandon them. We will not let AB Education make life altering choices for them. They are our children, not the governments!
Regrettably, there are some incompetent parents. We recognize and understand that. Fortunately, we have in place, services to help students and families in those circumstances. Child Welfare, Social Services, Foster Care and Police are some of the resources for these students.
We wish that every child, struggling with any issue, would have the joy of his parent enfolding him in arms of comfort. That together, child and parent could walk the path resolving life’s difficulties. To those children without that, we wish you success and joy as you walk a difficult path.
Life is hard, parents help us navigate it.
And so my friends, this is a love story. The love of parents for their children.