Letters: A chance to revisit the facts

Teachers had been planning on attending this parent rally since it was announced.

Teachers rallied for a negotiated settlement last week at the ACT in Maple Ridge.

Teachers rallied for a negotiated settlement last week at the ACT in Maple Ridge.

Editor, The News:

Re: Teacher rally not spontaneous (Letters, Sept. 17).

It is unfortunate that Kirk Brown has not met the criteria for accurately stating factual information in his letter attacking local teacher Shelley Evans in her defence of the real 140-year celebration.

As vice-president of the Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association, I can attest first hand to the fact that in no way was this parent-organized rally or teacher attendance a response to Premier Christy Clark attending an impromptu behind closed doors photo-op in our community.

Teachers had been planning on attending this parent rally at the parents’ request since it had been announced the weekend previous.

The MRTA only received notice of the premier’s attendance from the media late the evening before.

Fortunately, for Mr. Brown, educators understand the need for allowing those who have not yet met curricular criteria the chance to revisit their work and improve before rendering a final grade.

Todd Patrick

vice-president MRTA

 

Ill will

Editor, The News:

Re: Teacher rally not spontaneous (Letters, Sept. 17).

Many parents and students worked hard to plan the Memorial Peace Park rally attended by teachers.

So, Kirk Brown, check your facts.

Teachers discovered that Premier Christy Clark and her entourage were arriving at the ACT the morning (thanks to a tip from a local journalist) of the parent and student rally.

At that point, teachers already manning picket lines- were encouraged to go to the ACT.

The parent and student rally had been planned well in advance – the public was invited to attend.

It was not a “teacher rally.”

Teachers were on their regular picket duties the morning of this debacle.

I was on the picket line when we got word that Premier Clark was en route.

You also wrongfully state that I attended the rally.

I did not, nor did I claim to have done so.

I was on the picket line outside of Thomas Haney secondary when some of our teachers left, and upon their return.

Did you even speak to the parent organizers of the rally? Obviously not.

“Failed to divulge the fact that she is a teacher … ”

Seriously?

I have been teaching in this community for nearly 30 years.

I used my full name.

Anyone actually connected to education will probably either have been taught by me, been in one of our productions, or attended one.

If not taught by me, maybe then by my sister, Sandy Birce, who also taught here for 30 years.

I am quite proud to be a teacher, Mr. Brown, and proud of my decades of students, as well.

I am the parent of two children who attend school in this district and if you think for one minute that being a teacher strips me of my rights or my voice as a parent,  you are sadly mistaken.

This ‘media’ event at the ACT was ill planned, and ill timed. It was not a part of the public birthday celebration, as was implied. It was clearly behind closed doors.

My children all participated in the actual birthday celebrations that were scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There was no information in any of the local media (The News included) about the premier and her ministers arriving for the occasion of Maple Ridge becoming a city.

Shelley Evans

Maple Ridge