The Chilliwack School Board met on May 12, 2020 via a Zoom webinar. In the meeting, trustee Barry Neufeld issued a public apology for a Facebook post that caused backlash across the education industry in B.C. and beyond. (Zoom image)

LETTER: Maybe it’s time to abolish school boards, especially in Chilliwack

‘Local school boards have no jurisdiction over the curriculum’

As a member of the public, I am confused as to how the personal views of local school board trustees should have any impact on the curriculum. This is set by our democratically elected Provincial government. Everybody in B.C. had their say in the last election. The government has a Ministry of Education, which decides the curriculum. The teachers, who are trained professionals, take it from there. Local school boards have no jurisdiction over the curriculum as it stands or how it is taught, including the teacher’s option, SOGI-123.

Certain trustees, out of their province, have been wasting much time objecting to SOGI-123, mostly resulting in numerous defenceless minorities now feeling even more terrible about themselves. No kindness, no logic.

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No reference should be made at any time in school board meetings to curriculum content. The school board should only discuss the specific issues that they have been elected to deal with.

These duties include hiring administrative people, balancing the budget, property management and setting policy. It would be interesting to see a comprehensive list.

Being a school board trustee should not entitle anyone to a platform for their personal emotional agenda. Trustees should be disciplined for that sort of behaviour.

Being a school board trustee has, presumably, a heavy schedule of duties. However, I have a slight doubt about that presumption since there seems to be an awful lot of time for superfluous drama during meetings.

Is it because there is not very much work to be done, or board members are not doing their work?

In either case, maybe the time has really come to just abolish school boards, especially in Chilliwack.

Pauline Harms

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