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LETTER: Chilliwack school trustee Heather Maahs takes issue with editor’s column

‘In its quest to make the news less boring this paper has consistently sensationalized the news’

Re: “Please, make school board boring again,” Editor’s Notebook, Progress, Oct. 21, 2022.

In its quest to make the news less boring, this paper has consistently sensationalized the news and on many occasions participated and led the news cycle. Take for example my press release which said absolutely nothing about book banning (nor have I ever uttered these words). This paper took liberty, and editorialized my release to make it less boring, I guess. The campaign was now directed and reported on by you regarding “book banning.” One of my colleagues jumped on your bandwagon and used this narrative to ferociously attack me and my stance regarding inappropriate and pornographic content in the books in schools. You don’t want boring. Be honest.

You then go on to reference our budget, stating its $100 million plus. It’s closer to $150 million. You haven’t followed this, which is obvious. I actually do not recall the last time this paper reported on the budget or any questions we asked in this regard. Too boring I guess.

Your description of a trustee’s job is naive at best, ignorant at worst. The ministry does in fact give trustees the job of approving resources. May I once again direct you to legislative order dated July 1, 2017. I quote in part:

“Boards of education may only use educational resource materials (i.e., learning resources) that the board considers appropriate, specified in an educational program guide, or are recommended by the Minister of Education from time to time. Boards must have policies and procedures for approving the learning resources chosen for use in schools.”

And regarding specific duties you outline, the board’s job is not to represent the employer, we are the employer. And we are not tasked with acting as community leaders, we are community representatives, serving the community.

Big difference.

Making meetings boring again? I’d like to suggest you make the news boring again and try to get back to doing what a paper is supposed to do. Give us the facts, and let the readership decide.

Heather Maahs

School Trustee

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