Articulate young writer to be commended

Editor: This is an open letter to both Brandon Southern, a Grade 11 student whose original letter was published in The Times on June 17, and Alexia Anastasiou whose letter was published in The Times on June 26 .

Brandon, I read your letter with increasing respect as your writing and turn-of-phrase made clear that you have been an attentive student as evidenced by your English skills.

Your abilities to express yourself will serve you well in your future.  In these days where most communicate via text, tweets and email, often in an ‘individualized shorthand’ where English structure is dramatically diminished, it is encouraging that persons like yourself are still out there and looking after the language.  Thank you.

Alexia, I’m sure that between Brandon, his parents and his teachers there has been plenty of effort expended to bring Brandon’s English skills to the level he so aptly demonstrated in his contribution to The Times, letters page.

As much as I acknowledge and praise Brandon for his writing abilities, I do likewise and equally for both his parents and teachers.

However Alexia, I wonder if you appreciate the position in which you have now placed Brandon?

This young man took time to express his thoughts and feelings as he saw them to encourage ultimately the affected sides moving together to resolve their issues.

The present situation, we all agree, cannot continue endlessly or could possibly be considered as ‘best for the students’.

I do agree that young persons like Brandon, and particularly those completing their high school education this year, are suffering extensively.

I further agree that teachers need to be supported adequately in both financing the classroom and teacher’s salaries.

Yet, I see your response ‘at’ Brandon as excessive and misdirected.

I have increasingly noticed BCTF members embroiling children into their very adult dispute with the provincial government.

Perhaps I am unique, but I see this sort of activity as inappropriate. Disputes between adults should not engage or otherwise capture children in their actions.  And frankly, this to me includes, for example, having children carry on-strike signs on the picket line.

Deeds such as this twist the point of the strike, and the position of the appropriate players, to such an extent that credibility is diminished, or lost, as the image of such behaviour appears unfitting, contrived and disingenuous.

After all, children placed in such position haven’t, in most cases, an understanding of nor do they care about the dispute; they are pawns for the purposes of optics.

Nonetheless, I do respect both mentioned previous writers for their opinions, and that they took the time to share them with us all.

Stephen Ross,


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