Obviously, the rights of one teacher outweigh the rights of children to a decent school experience.
School starts in less than a week. Families are preparing to send their children to school. The fortunate may do it with a sense of joy, but too many with a sense of fear.
Imagine that your children attend Heritage Elementary School and found out a few days ago that your school hired a teacher who not only told the students that he wanted to beat them, but also that he didn’t like his job. That he liked teaching in 8th grade because he could give students worksheets and leave.
Then imagine that you are one of the families facing bankruptcy within a few hundred dollars. Rising inflation has eaten away all the reserves you might have had, and now you find yourself unable to pay for school fees and clothes that will put your child on a more equal footing with their peers.
I grew up in a society that most of my readers would call backward. When I left (at the ripe old age of 19), I did not expect that the “outside” world had its own version of backwardness.
We all agree that transferring a teacher from one school to another is a bad idea. However, we continue to do so. Why? Did no one have the heart to stop it? Doesn’t anyone have the guts to say, “You need to find another job because the kids deserve our best?” We look at history and judge (fairly) this practice of teacher displacement, but today we are powerless to stop it. Why? Apparently because the rights of one teacher outweigh the rights of children to a decent school experience.
The school district cannot comment on this because it is a staffing issue. School trustees do not comment. Nobody is responsible. Families simply have to trust the system and throw their children into a system designed to protect adults. It’s back. Just as backward as the backward community I grew up in.
Backwards is also a public school system that is systematically economically discriminatory, or more simply, designed to be better for rich kids than poor kids. The current school board has once again approved the school fee schedule:
- Deposit is required and refundable upon return:
- $50 Center for Learning Alternatives (CIDES) textbook deposit
- Graphing Calculator Pre-Calculus 11 and 12 Under $150
- Grad costs $100
- Yearbook $40
- External Credit Exam Fee
- • First Advanced Placement exam: $30 first exam, $20 second exam.
- Prince George’s Canadian Sports School – Engage Sport North, $180 per month.
- Student Services, $10
- Cultural events $10
- Postage (usually only one postage per child per school)
- Field Trips: This description actually says “Students who to choose not participate, a project or activity will be assigned that will achieve the prescribed learning outcomes.” !!! Their explanation is basically blah, blah, blah… we charge fees so that only richer kids can go on tours. Poor kids shouldn’t think they deserve to go on a field trip.” Doesn’t anyone know that children themselves choose from these enriching activities because children don’t want to burden their parents, so the hardship policy is ineffective.)
- Farewell ceremonies (finish high school, but if you’re poor you can’t participate in your own graduation ceremonies!)
So who is responsible for this terrible, backward policy? It is the adults in the school board office who have the power to change a school system designed to discriminate against less wealthy families. It is the adults in the administration who have the right to ensure that we do not shuffle teachers from one school to another.
Our children deserve the best. They deserve a school system that puts their best interests first.
Trudy Klassen is a writer for Prince George.