'Most parents know our school system isn't working'

Dear editor,

Our society needs teachers. They provide a vital service to young people who need to develop skills essential to function within society.

The level to which we the parents and the teachers achieve this has a direct impact on their quality of life. Public education gives parents' the ability to share their time between parenthood and a professional career.

It takes a community to raise a child, and by extension, it takes a community to educate a child. We also hope that it is a safe place where our children can go, emotionally, and physically. They also get to learn some discipline in the classroom.

Most parents know that our school system isn't working.

There are some nice initiatives going on — anti-bullying for example — but I see bullying permitted in my school.

My children have a very small space that they share with other children for putting away their bags and shoes. When the bell rings, the biggest boys always come out the door first, because the smaller ones can't get there first. If they do, they get shoved out of the way.

During their 20 minutes of lunch, this is more painful to watch, as they chronically complain about being last to be able to eat and not having enough time. This puts my children at a disadvantage to the bigger children, and they don't have enough time to get their nutrition.

The school schedule is not very good for the working parent. It is too erratic.

Often, it is grounded in Christian holidays, and children are forced into singing warbled hymns for Jesus in an end-of-school-year celebration for the birth of Jesus. The teachers never work on Saturdays, Christian holidays, they get out earlier than ever.

Schools are shut down earlier than ever except for expensive private before-school and after-school programs which operate in publicly funded buildings. The students now come home one our two days per month at lunch hour, making it harder than ever for working parents to adapt their professional schedules.

And why? So that they can have meetings that 'don't impact ... students at all.' This is particularly hard or expensive for the single parent to adapt to, and unimportant for students if I understand Steve Stanley correctly.

The school system needs to change. It needs to modernize.

It needs to integrate modern technology by making more home schooling materials available and relevant to classes. It needs to modularize its workforce so that expensive teachers aren't walking their students to the swimming pool when much less-expensive employees can do the same thing.

It needs to force teachers to communicate more about their goals to parents so that parents can help their kids not only learn the material, but gain confidence in school because they are good at it. Kids also need to have a lunch hour (employees are guaranteed 30 minutes).

The kids are more important than the teachers. I don't think the ones who want to strike ought to be working for our children.

Schools should be for kids first, parents second, education workers third, and not first as they've got it now and still aren't happy.

Steven Young,

Comox Valley


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