I’ve taken a few days since the election to rest, and collect my thoughts. Obviously I am disappointed that I was not selected to represent your values and interests to Alberta Education. Although 2435 votes is nothing to shake a stick at, the simple fact is that I didn’t get the necessary votes. Considering the highest voted board member got 5585, I do think that is a significant voice. A 43.6% voice when compared to the the highest vote. More than enough votes to ..cough.. get a petition accepted.
So the question is, “Where do we go from here?” Policy 621 still expects children to obey the school code of conduct at home, and will punish any teacher that will not report alleged violations. Policy 622 still puts children at risk by refusing to tell the children the truth about the health risks of transgenderism, and the obvious fallacies and lies of gender identity politics.
We know that, at least at present, 622 also ignores the law, and willfully and intentionally applies an illegal idea of confidentiality between students and teachers as young as 5. We also know that the newly elected trustees advocated that they were just following a non-existent law, that Minister David Eggen has as yet not even tabled in legislature. We know that newly elected trustees consider parents to be fear mongers, and that according to at least one of the trustees, who stated this publicly to about 200 people, charter and home schooling is the reason public education is falling behind.
Given that a majority of the elected trustees spoke of how they were going to ask the children how they think they should be educated, and that “you[the children] know best what you need.” Given that 99.9% of the people I spoke to during the campaign were not in favour of the direction of public education, and are not secretly trying to undermine public education by homeschooling or sending their kids to private school. Given the tenuous definition expressed during the campaign of what constitutes bullying. It appears to me that parents concerns have not be calmed. If anything, it appears like they have been amplified, and are not likely to be dealt with, unless someone mediates for them. The irony is, that is what the Board is supposed to do.
During the course of the campaign, I heard a number of alarming stories of concerns being ignored. One such story played out at the ATA Forum, with a mother asking how to contact the board, since when she had a question about placing her special needs child, the only response she got was “this isn’t Wallmart.” I can only speculate as to what that response was supposed to mean, or what the whole context was, but what I did learn, was that parents with concerns over 621 and 622, are not the only parents who have been exasperated by the system.
Like I’ve stated many times before, my role has always been about bringing parents concerns to the board, and making sure they are genuinely heard. making sure communication is open, transparent, and honest. That is why I submitted the petition, that is why I took it to court, that is why I set up this website and made it available for anyone to contribute, and that is why I ran for School Board.
Some have disagreed with my methods. Some have even been angry, and lashed out, but here is harsh truth. Facts don’t care about feelings. The fact is, there are some serious problems with district policy and procedures. There are some serious problems with how special needs children are being ‘included’ in classes. There are some serious problems with bullying and the definition and understanding of bullying, and there are some serious problems with the extent of fiduciary duty. These problems are not going to be fixed by attacking the people who bring them up, and they will not be fixed by changing laws so that people can no longer talk or know about them.
What can fix the problems, is openly and fairly talking about them. What can fix them is educating schools and councils on what their roles are. What can fix them is working with parents, and allowing them to be included.
So that brings me to what I plan on doing next. Yes, I do plan on continuing to attend the regular public board meetings, (at least for the near future.) The next one is tomorrow, the 24th of October @6pm by the way. Would be nice to see some others come out. (I’ll post the agenda separately.) Beyond the board meetings and their summaries, I’ll be making some changes to the CPoSD76 site over the next few weeks.
With the help of some of the other concerned parents, we will be moving into a more of an advocacy role. I will follow up with some of the individuals who I spoke with that had concerns, and see if the CPoSD76 can’t work with them to see some kind of resolution to the issues between them and the Board. I will also be putting up forms, where electorate can submit issues/concerns that they feel have note been resolved, or adequately addressed by the district. There may possibly also be guides setup to help parents and school councils understand school policies, and the appropriate channels they need to follow, as well as knowing the limits of school authority and parental responsibility.
The next four years will be about holding the board accountable, helping parents navigate the system, and making sure parents stay up to date with the direction of the district and Alberta Education as a whole.
Thank you to the people who have visited this site 190,000 times since April, and are staying abreast with the truth of what is going in Public education in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, & the world. Thank you to the 2434 people who put their trust in me to oversee public education in Medicine Hat. Your vote for me has given me strength to keep up the race. We are not at the finish line yet.