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LETTER: Majority of Chilliwack school trustees demonstrating ‘ignorance’ about parental rights

Retired school trustee says Trustee Heather Maahs’ parental rights policy idea has legislated support
Silvia Dyck, retired Chilliwack School Board trustee. (Black Press file)

Four members of the Chilliwack school board continue to demonstrate their historical ignorance and bias regarding parent involvement in education. Mabel Hubbard Bell started the first Home and Parent Teacher Federation in 1895. (Letters Patent 1951; name shorted to CHSF 1995). CHSF gave birth to BCCPAC which was recognized by the Ministry of Education and given charitable status. This evolved to local PACS and DPACS.

Parent involvement in education was clarified by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child, 1959 which states: “The best interest of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lives in first place in with parents.”

Further, the Ministry of Education 1989 states (excerpts only for brevity) “Parents have the right and responsibility to participate in the process of determining the education goals, policies and services provided for their children… and to share in the tasks of educating their young.”

As well, BCCPAC, with funding from the Ministry of Education and information and support from the ministry, principals and vice-principals, school superintendents, school trustees association and the B.C. Teachers Federation, published the booklet “Working Together in BC Public Schools.”

There is clear direction in legislation that states “Parents have the right to… be informed about their attendance, behaviour and progress in school.” (School Act Section 7.1, excerpt only.) As well, parents have the right to “examine on request and while accompanied by the principal or designate, all student records kept by a board regarding their child” as well as receiving a copy of any student record they examine, (School Act Section 9)

So, Trustee Heather Maahs’ parental rights policy idea already has legislated support, which the Chilliwack board ignores in its authoritarian arrogance. As suggested, it would be very useful to have a parents information booklet on the education process for their children in this confused school district.

Get with the program. Our children are losing.

Silvia Dyck

RELATED: Chilliwack school trustee Heather Maahs pushes for creation of parental rights policy

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