Letters

LETTER: Strike about more than wages

The teachers are on strike, and like many, I am now scrambling to try and find care for my children. I'm a single parent. I need to work, but as a mother of a special needs child, I fully support our teachers in this strike.

I see so many comments and articles talking about how the teachers are greedy and just want more money. Why is no one talking about smaller class size, composition and support for children with needs?

The funding for B.C. schools is a joke. Children who actually need support are not getting it, and I know this from experience. I am consistently told there is no funding. My youngest doesn't qualify to see a speech therapist (there are too many on the list and his problem isn't "that bad") but it was suggested I could hire one and pay around $100-$150 a session.

My oldest doesn't have an aide because his medical diagnosis doesn't come with any funding, but he can't be successful in a classroom without one.

Thank God for teachers. Thank God for the social development class at Blue Jay Elementary and the hours and hours they put in to help our kids.

Every child deserves a real education where they actually get help when they need it. My child and children like him want to learn, they want to be successful, and it is our duty as adults to give them the tools and resources they need to make that happen.

Why then are these children labelled as "disruptive" or "intensive behaviour" or even "bad" and sent to the principal's office or out into the hall? These children are not bad kids. They literally were born with a different kind of brain, but our school system is failing them.

Our government packs as many kids as possible into a class and then doesn't provide funding for extra support for those students who need it. Daycares regulated by our government are required to staff one adult for every 12 school-aged kids, but our school classrooms have one adult for 22? Our government needs to step up and start actually thinking of, and investing in our children. The government only wants to discuss wages, but this strike is about so much more. I support our teachers and for the sake of our children and our future, I hope you do too.

Timi McIntosh

Abbotsford

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