Teachers driven to withdrawal

Re: Unresolved dispute will cause harm, Letters, May 3.

To the Editor,

Re: Unresolved dispute will cause harm, Letters, May 3.

William H. Johnston believes that volunteer service is an expectation to be demanded of teachers.

Extra-curricular programs in the schools are completely voluntary. They have been provided in schools, for many years, by teachers, principals and parents.

Some community members believe that teachers must coach and sponsor programs such as sports teams, sporting events, student clubs, student councils, dramatic productions, Christmas concerts, noon-hour clubs, band concerts, awards nights and proms.

With this comes numerous fundraising activities to support these wonderful extra-curricular programs.

Parents and members of the community have always been our partners in these activities, however they freely choose whether to participate, and they are not publicly shamed if they withdraw help.

Teachers are trying to bring the public’s attention to the important issues that we are facing with the passing of Bill 22.

The current government has completed its first decade of destruction. Our students love and miss their extra-curricular activities; however, they risk greater harm through oversized classrooms and decreased supports for all students.

All children have the right to access quality public education, and I encourage the community to speak out and demand that the government provide the proper support to the students of this province.

Extra-curricular programs are just that: extra. Before criticizing our teachers, consider for a moment the amazing number of programs and activities that teachers have chosen to support over the years.

Teachers have been driven to withdraw their voluntary participation in this multitude of activities for a very compelling reason; students have seen an unprecedented level of lost supports over the past decade.

In response, the decision to withdraw volunteer service was not made lightly and is in support of high quality public education.

K.L. Mercier

Nanaimo

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