What are the school trustees doing to protect the rights of those teachers who choose to volunteer?
Teachers should have the right to follow their conscience. The Burnaby Teachers' Association and the British Columbia Teachers' Federation should not be allowed to "bully" or "coerce" teachers who choose to volunteer to support children with threats of exclusion or penalty.
If volunteering is a choice, then it should be free from intervention by the BTA/BCTF or governments.
The BTA/BCTF doesn't see it this way. The BTA/BCTF's stance on volunteering is very divisive. The BTA/BCTF must be feeling very vulnerable with its stance.
If you take into consideration the number of teachers who didn't take the opportunity to vote, only half of all teachers thought that a provincewide boycott of extracurricular activities was a good idea.
The BTA/BCTF has shown its true colours. To keep its members in line, the BTA/BCTF has found it necessary to intimidate its own members.
One wonders what the union might have done if the district administration or the provincial government would have threatened teachers in the same way.
Teachers know that the stance of the BTA/BCTF is divisive. The boycott hurts children, parents and teachers.
Children are upset because things they have been looking forward to, possibly for many years, are being cancelled. Opportunities and dreams are being lost.
Parents are having to deal with their child's emotional trauma at home.
Teachers' reputations are brought into question by a stance that has been forced by the union. Staff room conversations are tense because of the divided stance on whether to volunteer or not.
School trustees, instead of playing a leadership role, have decided to hide.
None has come forward to protect the rights of teachers who choose to volunteer. Where are all those promises to support children, to stop bullying and to improve education?
Rennie Maierle, Burnaby