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LETTER: Chilliwack school board meeting left writer nauseous

‘A chair that does not want to listen should no be chair at all’
Willow Reichelt (right) enjoying a few quiet minutes before the start of a Chilliwack School Board meeting in November 2022. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

After watching the Feb. 7 school board meeting, I was left feeling nauseous and disturbed. The chair of the school board, Willow Reichelt, not only turned the mic off on a concerned grandmother, but also her own colleague. It was absolutely shocking how Reichelt conducted herself in a show of dismissiveness, rudeness, and intimidation.

READ MORE: New-look Chilliwack school board spars over library books and parental rights

As a parent I would not feel comfortable talking in front of the school board, knowing how the chair behaves. What if I have a concern that she doesn’t agree with? Will my mic be turned off too? Will my ideas and proposals actually be taken seriously if they don’t line up with her agenda? The whole board meeting was absolutely cringeworthy. I understand a few of the topics were not on the agenda for that meeting, however, the way they were dismissed was appalling.

There needs to be a better way to come forward with concerns to the school board. There needs to be open forum time for parents to talk about items that are not on the agenda.

If the school board is to work with the community to improve student achievement, there needs to be dialogue. And if the chair is turning off peoples’ mics and refusing to hear from them, that’s a problem.

A chair that does not want to listen should not be chair at all.

I think Reichelt should step down as chair of the school board.

Joanne Johnson

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