Parent Rights Endangered in BC’s Teacher Strike (2011-12)
1, Parent rights bargained away
Parents were not at the table when their rights were bargained away. No one spoke up or objected to their rights being used as a bargaining chip. It’s like having a father sell his wife or a parent sell a child. It’s as bad as that!
2. Parents deprived of a comparative report — graded
The right lost to parents was not being able to receive their first progress report card this Fall. Three such graded report cards are to be sent to parents and that is specified in the School Act.
3. Withholding reports is illegal
Parents not receiving these cards according to the School Act makes this illegal. Parents could sue.
4. Parents obtaining private assessment should be able to charge back.
Since parents are supposed to receive such a progress report card which would help them compare if the child is at grade level, below, or above. Surely then if they obtain such a assessment privately, shouldn’t the fee be chargeable to the school board?
5. The rule of law is being held in contempt
What’s the use of legislation and laws if people ignore them?
6. Reports are tools for parents for making informed decisions
With a report card parents are better able to decide if they have made a good decision in enrolling their child in that school. If the parent is dissatisfied, they are well-equipped to either advocate for better services or withdraw to another setting — another school or home education.
The suspicion is that people in the system – unionized teachers AND admin, etc — don’t mind keeping parents in the dark, so that they are handicapped from removing students too easily. Keep the kid in the seat above all else, for the full dollar.
7. Not receiving the report card is equivalent to having a contract broken.
The quid pro quo of contracts is I do something, you do something. I enroll my child, you provide me with a report of how they’re doing.
8. With the strike continuing indefinitely, the next two reports are also unlikely.
It’s way too late for parents to make alternative arrangements so late in the year. A whole year could easily be wasted. Private schools say they receive a good number of new enrollments in January.
9. The new replacement procedure makes parents beholden to the teachers.
The onus is now on the parents to initiate communication by email, phone or other means and any meeting must be in school hours. Working parents would find this difficult.
10. This shift seriously undermines the authority of the parents in relation to government schools.
Instead of public schools being seen as accountable to parents, it is now the parents who are seen as the supplicants or petitioners to the central government.
11. All the points above serve to erode the centrality and primacy of the family in education of the young. Undermining the role of the family in education is a serious affront to the health of civil society.
12. All of the points above add further fuel to the arguments for having more publicly-funded alternatives to the public school system so that families have more elbow room to help accommodate their children’s educational needs. We live in a free society, don’t we? Vouchers, charters, School based management…
13. With the messaging from some union leaders that the strike could go on “indefinitely” and one pres, Karpuk from Kamloops saying, “we should stay here forever” I really wonder if keeping parents domesticated and “begging” for feedback, and principals getting punished by overwork and sick leaves, and teachers (workers) in charge of the workplace, is probably what these progressives want anyway ….