Chilliwack school board chair urges education supporters to vote

Paul McManus says one ‘group’ won’t be welcome in public schools if elected

It’s pretty simple folks. If you have children in public schools in our community, you need to get out and vote for your school trustees on Saturday, October 20th.

This will be the most important election for school trustees in our history.

If you don’t have, or no longer have kids in our public schools, but you care about children and their education, your vote is also critical, and you need to make voting for school trustees a top priority.

Historically, fewer people vote for school trustees than for the offices of mayor or city council. That needs to change right now. We have a ‘group’ of people running for school trustee that will not be welcome in our schools. Let me say that again: They will not be welcome in our schools.

How can we, as a community, allow that to happen? If this group were to make up the majority of our school board, it would have a significant and very negative impact on our public schools. And while this situation will most impact students, staff and parents that are members of the LGBTQ community, don’t kid yourself – it will negatively impact all staff and students. Our district will be in turmoil should this situation arise. With a new and exciting curriculum, our new grade reconfiguration, and a brand new school on the horizon, there are some great things happening in the Chilliwack School District. Is it perfect? No. It’s the public sector, so there’s no chance of that. But we are heading in the right direction. We cannot let some misguided individuals sabotage all the positive things that are happening in our schools.

We need progressive, open-minded, positive individuals on our school board who are good communicators and whose strengths include building relationships.

We also need better representation on our school board of parents who currently have children in the public school system. On the last four school boards in Chilliwack, representing 28 school trustee positions, there were only two or three trustees, including myself, that had children in our schools at the time they were on the board.

That’s not diversity, folks.

There are no good excuses for why you can’t get out and vote. Encourage your friends, your neighbours, and your co-workers to get out there as well. Do not underestimate the impact that this can have on your children. It’s up to you whether it’s a positive or a negative one…

Paul McManus

School Board Chair

Chilliwack School District

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