A sense of normalcy has returned to B.C. communities this week.
Monday morning, albeit three weeks later than expected, parents stood at bus stops, or outside school doors, wiping tears from their eyes as they sent their six-year-olds off to their first day of Grade 1.
Police were set up in school zones throughout the province, ticketing drivers who had not adapted to the lower speeds.
Most importantly, for the first time since the turning of the calendar month, there were no picketers standing outside local schools, waving at passing motorists.
The process has been completed. The job action served its purpose and parents can be confident that their children will be able to attend classes uninterrupted for the next five years.
When was the last time a Grade 8 student in this province was assured that he or she would graduate high school without job action being taken by the teachers?
That’s the good news.
The disappointment is that this strike could have been resolved before it started, by both sides meeting in the middle. Essentially, that’s what the final result was.
Of course, union proponents will contest that it is because of the process that the result was achieved. If so, that’s a sad statement on what it takes for the government to bend, “for the good of the children”.
The debate will rage on as to who the villains were in this strike, but here in the Comox Valley, there were also some heroes, who stepped up to help out in their own special ways.
Retired teacher Slava Simice, as well as Anne Koke, offered free tutorial time to help students.
Cumberland Elementary principal Kyle Timms drove to neutral ground with fresh-made sandwiches and fruit, for any students who ordinarily relied upon the school’s free meal program.
Scenes like those played out in communities throughout the province during this trying period. To the Slavas and Annes and Kyles of B.C., we thank you.
–Comox Valley Record