‘The order of normal school is very sinister’

Dear editor,
I just read Tom Fletcher's article in the Record, and am wondering when he last set foot in a school?

Dear editor,I just read Tom Fletcher’s article, BCTF indoctrinating our kids (Record, March 7), and am wondering when he last set foot in a school?How could he not have noticed the overcrowding (I wonder what would happen, if a real emergency occurred?), or perhaps more noise than usual, as one teacher, who may be lucky enough to have some EA support, tries to teach too many students, with such diversified learning styles, and needs.Special Education, EA support and librarians have all seen huge cuts in the past decade. Perhaps the Olympics, and the ever-crumbling B.C. Place Stadium (another $10 million, to fix the cables now), should not have been priorities. Our Province has the money, but chooses to spend it on glitter.I am a teacher on call, now, and started my teaching career, decades ago. Most of my teaching has been in British Columbia. I have seen the huge, backward changes, that have occurred, even since I attended high school in Alberta.Mind you, Alberta, being a wealthy province, invests in the public school system. That is an investment in the future.I’d like to quote some lines, written by a student in a alternate school, a week ago. Perhaps what he has written will help Mr. Fletcher understand that class size, and composition, are important in public schools.In private schools, or charter schools, as they have in Alberta, students wear uniforms, and parents and students toe the line. Dismissal happens otherwise. That is a huge factor, when talking about class size. Class composition isn’t as big a factor, in elite schools.To quote the alternate school student: “The order of normal school is very sinister. There are too many youth to personally tend to the needs of every student, which is disappointing, because it’s a fact that everyone learns, and consumes knowledge to a different pace, and in different methods. My school gives depth to the ways of teaching, not just giving everyone the bulk. The teachers help with specialties, and interests, and work experience programs are included.”This is not propaganda, Tom, and our rally in Victoria, and others, around the province, were very well attended. Other unions, and students supported us, as well. We all should care about class size, and composition, because one way or another, we will all be affected by it. We had our last contract, fixing limits, on composition, and size, torn up. The Supreme Court ruled the tearing up illegal, but our premier has put herself above the law. That strike, seven years ago, had nothing to do with wages, strictly class size and composition.It is not a lie, Tom, that we strongly care about our students, and the future of our society.Sharon Daly,Comox

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