The following is a guest post by BC Parent, Megan Metcalfe:
I sent a letter to Christie Clark’s office, Peter Fassbender’s office, and my MLA about two weeks ago. I got a response just today. It was addressed from the Premier’s office, but it was not signed and there was no name connected to it. It was the most bland, uninformative “yes, thanks for your input, we’re doing our best, yada, yada, yada” kind of letter.
So I sent this back:
Hm. I would address this to an individual, but no one signed the form letter that was sent to me. I do thank you for at least replying to me. But I find the content of your reply to be quite empty and void of real concern or discussion.
I am an open-minded individual, and I like to pride myself on listening to both sides of any story, but I am angry right now, angrier than I’ve ever been as an adult citizen of Canada.
You see, I feel that the provincial government’s actions at this time in history are unconstitutional.
I feel that my son’s years in school have been decimated, specifically and directly as a result of decisions that have been made to support the wealthy via tax cuts at the expense of our educational system.
Your very large, very expensive ads to denigrate the teachers’ position in the negotiations included incorrectly done math!! Is it that the people you had construct these ads are incompetent, or is it that you think the people of BC are stupid enough to believe the incorrectness of the ad? Either avenue does not bode well for the perception of the liberal government.
I have heard the analogy used, and I think it’s a pretty good one, that if a family needs to “tighten its belt” financially, it doesn’t go buy a Lamborghini then say it can’t afford groceries. This seems to be what the choices of the Liberal government reflect. It’s not that the money doesn’t exist, clearly if we can spring for a roof on a stadium to the tune of 514 Million dollars, there is money available, the only question is, what will we spend it on?
I believe, from what I have read, what has been shared with me, and from what actions I’ve seen the Liberals take, that there is not only a personal vendetta against teachers, but an all out war on proper education for the masses. I think you are making every effort to create a two-tiered educational system. High end for the wealthy, low-end for the economically struggling. And I don’t like it. And I will stand up against it.
You are taking advantage of teachers’ good hearts, their empathetic natures, their unselfishness, because you KNOW that what they are responsible for isn’t a product on an assembly line. IT’S OUR KIDS. It’s MY kid, with his double challenges of giftedness/learning disability. He’s a BRILLIANT BOY and he’s being allowed, like so many other wonderful Canadian kids to fall through the cracks in an overcrowded, underfunded school system.
Does Ms. Clark want to go down in history as the heartless human she’s appearing to be, remembered for her attempt to assassinate quality education? Or does she want to be remembered as the politician who truly put the most noble ideals, education and healthcare, FIRST, for Canada’s kids and for BC’s future?
You see, I used to blame teachers too. I couldn’t figure out why my son hated school so very, very much. Then I started going in to the school (which I wish more parents would do). Spending time there. Talking to teachers. Watching them cope under the most awful, awful conditions. I’ve seen so many kids so much worse off than my son. And slowly, slowly I began to realize that this wasn’t their fault. My son is a good kid. Polite, quiet. Smart, mostly. But he often became “the straw that broke the camel’s back” because of his need, REAL need for one-on one teaching with an adult, in order to succeed. And he was one of those kids that would’ve qualified for a full-time aid years ago, which means that his entire young life would have been different, if different decisions, decisions that showed some concern for our children, had been made.
I have had teachers cry with me over my kids’ challenges and celebrate with me over their successes. I share my parenting role with these people, as do most of the voters in BC. I recognize and respect that they are almost as important in influence as I am in my children’s lives. Why, please tell me, why would you not care about these people? As a single mother, Ms. Clark, surely you know that taking care of, nurturing, watching over and educating children is a grueling, often thankless job. Most of us struggle with the role even when we only have to deal with our OWN kids, let alone 30 of them, day after day!!
I WANT my taxes to pay my children’s teachers WELL. I want them to have excellent health benefits, plenty of time in the summer to connect with their own families and hone those “kid” skills. I want them not to be overstressed, not overburdened, not burned out, as ALL of us get when there is simply too much asked of us with too few resources!
I want the person co-raising my kids to be at their absolute BEST. They are helping me, and all of us average Canadians, raise our children. Is there a more important job??
Now, does my statement put me on the Liberals’ radar as someone to be feared? Silenced? Or do you see the folly in pursuing what will be a guaranteed defeat politically for this government if they don’t heed the message of the province’s people?
I don’t want you to “negotiate”. I don’t want you to work out some compromise with the teachers. I want you to give them EXACTLY what they are asking for, because what they are asking will change the lives of every child and every caring parent in British Columbia for the better and for the long-term. And I want to see you stand up and accept a lot of accolades for finally, FINALLY doing the right thing. For BC. For our children. For the future.
I expect and demand a reply.
From an individual that will sign their name to the paper.
My sincere thanks in advance for your attending to this matter immediately.
I must extend my appreciation to fellow BC parent, Megan Metcalfe, for her solidarity and for allowing me to share her spectacular letter. Megan is a talented Vancouver musician, who is working on her third album. I encourage you to check out her facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/meganmetcalfemusic and have a listen to her wonderful music there or on her website at http://www.meganmetcalfe.com.
Thank you, Megan ♥
Please sign and share this petition to Premier Clark: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/373/030/758/premier-clark-negotiate-with-teachers-to-protect-public-education/
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)