Comment 76881

By highwater (registered) | Posted May 14, 2012 at 12:39:56

Considering the city is in the midst of the largest number of concurrent ARCs ever attempted by any board in the province, it was disconcerting to see only two contributors making a reference to the vital role schools have to play in making our city a great place to raise kids. It was also unfortunate that no trustees or senior staff from any of the local boards were invited to contribute.

I've been focusing my ire on the public board's refusal to engage with the city on planning issues over the last few months, but it's a two-way street, no pun intended (ok, it was intended). Clearly there needs to be more awareness on the part of the city and wider community as well. For the last year, it seems the only people talking about the vital social and economic role that local schools play in their communities are the parents and students directly affected by closures, and we've often been vilified as 'selfish' and 'entitled' for our efforts.

It suits the board's ends to marginalize the voices who are pointing out their larger responsibility, and for the most part our local media have been aiding and abetting them. There was lots of great commentary in this piece, but the elephant in the room in any conversation about improving our city for children and families, is the board's heedless, blinkered planning decisions and closed-shop processes. Parents and individual school communities can't do it alone. It is long past the time for city, business, and community leaders to insist that the board include them in its planning decisions. In fact it may already be too late.

Comment edited by highwater on 2012-05-14 12:42:50

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