Cardboard blinds come up in B.C. Legislature

SRT portables will get window coverings.

The use of makeshift cardboard window blinds in the portable classrooms at Samuel Robertson Technical were used as an example of the government’s under-funding of education in the provincial legislature.

On Oct. 28, Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson used question period to tell the minister that teachers at the Maple Ridge high school have been asked to create makeshift window coverings.

“Teachers have been asked if they can find some cardboard, cut it to shape, and prepare it for use as window coverings,” said Robinson.

She said in the event of a lockdown, the teacher is supposed to quickly tack this cardboard up so a potential intruder could not see into the portable classroom.

Robinson then told the minister to admit that the government’s demands for administrative savings are affecting classrooms, and to stop under-funding education.

Education Minister Mike Bernier responded that the government has invested $1.4 billion on school improvements in the past three years, including seismic upgrades.

“It’s unfortunate we always have to hear the NDP besmirch the system,” he added.

Robinson said she wanted to show how ridiculous the situation is getting in schools, due to government under-funding.

She has since been told by the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district that there is enough funding for the blinds.

Irena Pochop of the school district said it is not a funding issue, and the at SRT has a “healthy budget” that it can access to pay for wind coverings.

“The cardboard was put up as a temporary measure while the school works with our facilities department to allocate the funds and order and install the blinds. Our hope is to have new blinds in there within a couple of weeks, though the timeline will unfortunately depend on how long it takes for them to ship.”

She said there were blinds on the windows, but they were damaged and taken down, and the cardboard put up as a temporary measure.

Robinson said school board administrators have been cutting costs for so long, they are scared to spend any money that might be deemed discretionary.

“It’s really not about blinds, it’s about chronic underfunding,” she said. “Everyone is anxious to spend money on the things we need.”

“This is just another example of how crazy it’s getting.”

District Parent Advisory Council president Kim Dumore said the issue was blown out of proportion.

“When the district got wind of it, they dealt with it in a timely manner,” she said. “Safety is of the utmost importance to the district.”

Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association president George Serra said the public has generally heard about under-funding education, but the cardboard blinds are a “real-life example that can resonate with the public.”

But he called it a minor issue in the big picture of the school district’s under funding by the province.

 

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s indoor pool redo in final months

Structural work done, with target opening to be late summer

Police investigating body found in Maple Ridge park

Discovered early Friday near highway

Maple Ridge’s lake low with dry spell

Boat launch not open at Alouette Lake

Maple Ridge man to the rescue twice in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Maple Ridge magnetic hill defies the law of Newton

It is a stretch of road where cars roll uphill instead of down

VIDEO: Giants take a 1-0 playoff series lead

Vancouver beat Seattle 7-1 in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference series in Langley

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Most Read