RUNNING AS INDEPENDENT FOR PITT MEADOWS TRUSTEE
Student, age 20
Resident of Ridge Meadows for 20 years
Having been a student in SD42 and having family work in education, I have seen the disconnect between district staff, education staff, and students in schools.
I advocate for youth voices in various ways, such as uPlan, a youth-led committee that created engaging youth initiatives.
I will continue to advocate for more public education funding to ensure safe and inclusive learning environments for all students.
Despite being the most impacted group, students’ input is often overlooked.
I will actively seek to collaborate with students and staff working in schools.
I am also a proud climate activist and believe change should start in the classroom; I lead by example – I have decided not to use lawn signs but recyclable window signs.
Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No.
(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)
1. Do you agree with how SOGI material and other sex education is currently taught in the classroom, including LGBTQ2S content and sexual consent?
Yes. SOGI education teaches inclusivity, respect, and community in classrooms. SOGI and sexual health education will look different in every classroom based on many factors, such as age. Sexual health education for senior secondary students should focus not only on teaching safe sex and sexual health but should also teach consent, healthy relationships, stigma and body image- all things many of our older students face. While SOGI education in primary years gives students a sense of belonging by ensuring the classroom accurately reflects the diversity of our community and schools.
2. Are class sizes too big?
Yes. Staff are being overworked and not given enough support, directly affecting our student’s success. Each child has various and complex needs to succeed in school. There needs to be more support for both students and staff. If there is not enough room in our current schools to accommodate smaller class sizes, I will further advocate for facility upgrades and improvements to the provincial government. We must ensure that all students and staff feel adequately supported. Providing students and staff feel adequate support is essential to long-term student success.
3. Should students with diverse abilities or special needs be taught in regular classrooms?
Yes. It is important to note that students with diverse abilities have complex needs, and this decision should be based on these needs. Throughout the past two years, students and staff have experienced immense trauma, as we all have. Ensuring our classrooms are comfortable and adaptable to meet students’ social and emotional needs.
4. Is the provincial government providing enough funding for public schools?
No. The province of BC needs to begin investing more into our future, and I promise to continue advocating for that. The current state of PMSS poses a danger to those learning and working in the building. The school has long needed upgrades. The provincial government needs to fund a new Pitt Meadows Secondary School, as well as a new elementary school in the Silver Valley, Albion, and in the near future- Pitt Meadows areas. A new PMSS will ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment, something that Pitt Meadows’ secondary students have long been missing.
5. Should students be taught how to administer Naloxone in school?
Yes. Naloxone is a life-saving medication used to reverse the effects of opioids. Secondary school students should get trained in naloxone trained in the same way students are trained and certified in CPR. Unfortunately, nearly 60% of illicit drug users are between the ages of 15-24; ensuring our students are prepared for post-secondary life is crucial to long-term student success.
6. Should there be more emphasis on STEM courses in schools?
Yes. STEM courses promote many of our core competencies such as critical and reflective thinking. In addition, students in STEM are able to learn innovative skills needed to succeed. With the rapid growth of the science and technology industries here in B.C., our students will be better equipped for tomorrow’s workforce.
7. Do we need a post-secondary institution/campus in Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge?
Yes. There is a considerable need for post-secondary opportunities in Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge.
As a post-secondary student myself, I have seen directly how the lack of post-secondary options in our community has discouraged many graduates from furthering their education.
With the additional lack of public transportation and high cost of living, having no post-secondary education institution in our community makes further education inaccessible for many graduates.
8. Is bullying a problem in local schools?
Yes. I support and will work to uphold and strengthen the districts Safe, Caring, and Healthy Schools policy- ensuring all schools are free of bullying, cyber-bullying, or any form of harassment.
9. Should there be more emphasis on Indigenous-based history and culture courses?
Yes. I would like to work towards an updated Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. The current agreement has been in effect since 2015, I believe it is time to look at revising the agreement to better reflect indigenous based history and teachings.
10. Should the district have a strategy to reduce the use of portables?
Yes. Pitt Meadows is a rapidly growing community. I will advocate to the Provincial government for more funding for facility upgrades and expansions, as well as a newly built PMSS. Ensuring students feel comfortable and welcomed in schools is a top priority to me. Portables in our district, many of which need repairs, should not be used as a long-term solution.
How the questions were presented to each candidate
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows news readers have told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.
Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.
Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.
To help voters in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows make their choices on election day, The News is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.
You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.
Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.
Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.
Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in The News print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.mapleridgenews.com.
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