‘Kids are being affected’

Teacher passes on plea from his daughter to end labour dispute.

Editor: My 20-year-old daughter Shelby has posted this on her Facebook page.  It is a heartfelt plea for the government to do the right thing, and I wanted to share it with your readers.

“I just want to take the time to express my anger, frustration, and sadness towards the ongoing labour dispute between the BCTF and the government. This dispute has now lasted from the end of the school year in June, and is still happening now, causing distress with not only the parents and teachers, but with the kids as well.

The bottom line is, the kids are being affected here — and it has always been about the kids. I am tired of hearing people talk down against the teachers for striking because they are the ones fighting for the kids education, to make their education better in the long run.

The teachers of B.C. have gone through enough since 2002, and that is why they are not backing down. They have worked hard to keep the government out of influence in the classroom, and they will continue to challenge them, in order to sustain a better environment for the kids.

As a daughter of two very talented, very devoted, and selfless people, who love their jobs as teachers, I have seen firsthand how this labour dispute has affected the lives of thousands of teachers province wide. And it isn’t just the wage cutbacks to worry about —  it’s the fact that they need to be in those classrooms, they need to teach, because they love doing it, and it is who they are.

Without being in the classroom, my parents just are not themselves, but I commend them on their optimistic attitude, even throughout this ordeal. They are sacrificing who they are in order to stand up to the government, and if that isn’t courage then I don’t know what is.

People need to know how much the teachers care. My mom and dad put in countless extra hours outside of the classroom, because they care, not because they have to. It breaks my heart to know that some of the hardest working people in this province are the ones who are now suffering for their efforts to fight for what’s right and what needs to happen.”

Scott Smithson,

Teacher, Yorkson Creek Middle School and coach, Walnut Grove Senior Girls Basketball

Langley Times

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