Saturday, December 3, 2016
Thank you, Minister Casey
Dear Minister Casey,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your decision to close Nova Scotia schools on Monday.
I know you are only too aware that the teachers voted to implement work to rule measures. This would mean only working to contract. All the extra work that teachers do on a day to day basis would be put on hold until an agreement was reached between the government and the teachers' union.
As a parent of a child in the seventh grade, I am past the point of needing to be concerned for my son's safety if, by chance, the school bus were to arrive before the principal or teacher. But this scenario could indeed be dangerous for a younger child and I am grateful that you had the foresight to realize that if the principals arrived only twenty minutes before the start of the school day and left twenty minutes after the end of the day, as is written in their contract, that we could be putting the safety of our children in jeopardy.
I have to confess, though, that I was shocked to learn that the government has felt comfortable leaving the safety of our children up to the kindness of teachers and principals. In all these years, it never once occurred to me that when the teachers and principals arrived earlier than twenty minutes that they were not being paid for their time. Not that I would have felt any apprehension had I been aware of this fact.
You see, teachers and principals going above and beyond the call of duty is something that most parents understand well. Whether it be school carnivals, Christmas concerts, band practices, drama clubs, communicating with parents, self funded trips to the dollar store to purchase prizes or after school sports, we all know that teachers are motivated by something much greater than money. They are motivated by love and devotion. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine a teacher sacrificing the safety of a child. But that's neither here nor there because, as I'm sure you would agree, the safety of a child should never be left to the assumption of a teacher's love and devotion. Something as basic as the safety of our children should not be on par with after school soccer.
So, once again, I thank you. Your decision to close schools on Monday has highlighted how much we owe our teachers and how much we are failing our children. I look forward to hearing future news stories of a government that is truly listening to the people who we have entrusted with our children's futures.