Letter: Premier is holding ‘public education hostage’

Open letter to Christy Clark:

I do not have enough time to do my job. I am a secondary school Foods 10/11/12 teacher, an advanced placement coordinator and the grad coordinator for a grad class of 550 students.

For the second time in three years, in addition to teaching my classes, I am faced with organizing grad commencement ceremonies (yes, we hold two consecutively as our grad class is so large) without the assistance of teachers.

While your government has stated that teachers may volunteer for anything they wish to, one would have to be a martyr to have 10 per cent of his/her working time and salary reduced and then contentedly set off to volunteer for work-related events.

While anyone ‘actively’ involved in public education understands the challenges and pressures faced year-end in a year exempt from political strife, the additional time constraints that your government has now placed upon teachers at such a significant period in the school year serve only to severely burden our administration and to lessen the ability of teachers to perform their jobs thoroughly and to completion. Each of these consequences of your actions impacts the achievements and education of our students. These type of governmental decisions further exemplify that the ministry representing education is thoroughly out of touch with it.

It behoves me to understand how anyone whose parent had been an educator could so drastically and deliberately hold public education hostage. It seems a very great risk to take in the true serving of education—the right of each child in this province.

Debra Schmidt,



PS: Teachers volunteer because they are generally kind individuals who choose to enrich the lives of their students in a variety of manners and in meaningful ways.

Never mistake kindness with stupidity, Ms. Clark.


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