Creston South Rural trustee destroyed relationships with parents, teachers

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To the Editor:

(Re: “Election 2014: Creston’s SD8 South Rural candidates find little to disagree about”)

How very sad Creston Valley Teachers’ Association members were to read the article penned by Lorne Eckersley commenting on the public forum held to hear the voices of candidates from the South Rural. We were surprised to realize that Rebecca Huscroft, current chair of the board, had taken the time to inform the media she was choosing not to attend — when she had told us she would. Some of us were actually concerned a dire event may have prevented her from attending.

Rebecca’s statement that teachers “are not representative of the public” reported in Lorne’s article demonstrates a lack of knowledge, as well as a clear disrespect for the democratic process. The forum was public — it was attended by members of the public, and was an opportunity to speak about public education. At no time did you communicate to us your concerns about attending. Since we learned of your position through the newspaper, we are responding to you through the newspaper.

Teachers are members of the public, Rebecca. We pay taxes, we have children in the public education system and we take our right to vote very seriously. We are currently also employed by you.

What has happened since the 2011 election? You attended the forum that year and spoke clearly of your intention to work with teachers and parents regarding their concerns. You were elected because of your apparent desire to create an environment where the government attacks on public education would be appropriately responded to. You asked us to vote for you, and I assume many of us did.

From my side of the table, the board has failed miserably to prevent the undermining of our school system. In a previous column also written by Lorne, he had watched the chaos and lack of leadership demonstrated at board meetings. He said, “I wouldn’t vote for anyone sitting around the board table that afternoon,” in response to the poorly communicated Homelinks fiasco, which contemplated moving secondary students from one school to another. A move you supported, Rebecca. The attempt to move the students was a botched, hacked and top-down decision, which absolutely initially failed to consult parents and staff in a fair manner. Thank heavens members of the public rallied and defended a school where you first became involved in school politics, and your own children are enrolled. Public outcry has resulted in a far more fair and respectful consultation process transpiring this year — a consultation process you voted against.

Most disheartening is the fact that the current board has a goal of improving and building relationships with their employees. Something tells me that by failing to attend a public forum, and by not understanding that teachers are members of public, Rebecca Huscroft has actually done much to destroy relationships. Her actions speak of patent disregard for those who care so deeply for public education.

Rebecca Blair, President

Creston Valley Teachers’ Association