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HomeNews100 Mile HouseParents of Horsefly Elementary Junior Secondary Accuse SD27 Board Of Lacking Empathy

Parents of Horsefly Elementary Junior Secondary Accuse SD27 Board Of Lacking Empathy

It took nearly three hours for parents of Horsefly Elementary Junior Secondary School to have 15 minutes to ask questions and present a petition signed by 66 parents and guardians at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Victor Khong says if he had to characterize the meeting, he would say it lacked empathy.

“The school board even though they realized that there was large of contingent of audience in the gallery they elected to fill out a 17-page survey that had to be handed in by January 2.”

Although Trustee Brice O’Neil, pointed out the lateness of the evening, the Board opted to continue with completing the survey which Chair Tanya Guenther said on Thursday was a very full discussion.

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“It’s a survey that needs need to be submitted prior to the beginning of January and will be forming the basis of some of the pieces that will be reviewed for the funding formula,” she says.

“As you know we have very unique geographic factors within our District. It was very important to take the time to review that survey and provide full adequate feedback to the Ministry as they work to undertake the funding review process. That certainly is one of the main roles and functions of the Board of Education is looking at our funding and oversight of our budget.”

Following the discussion of the survey and all items on the official agenda, the Board then gave the opportunity for the public to ask questions or comment on items that were not on the agenda.

15 minutes were allotted to the parents to ask their questions many of which Superintendent Mark Wintjes said would have to be referred to staff to further look into.

“I would hope that we get a number of them answered for you by the end of the week. There would be some maybe in the new year,” Wintjes said.

On Thursday, Board Chair Tanya  Guenther told MYCARIBOONOW although it can be frustrating for observers who wish to provide comment or questions, the Board is a legislated group under the school act.

She says they have processes and policies that they have to follow for the rules of order in their meeting.

“I think we would do it again even if it played out the same way,” Khong says.

“It shows that even if you adhere to everything expected of you it shows that the communication protocol is horribly broken because not once did the parents feel a sense of empathy for our circumstances,” he says noting of one student who used to be an A student in English but since October 21 dropped to a C+.

“‘Adam’ is deeply disappointed and when the parent went to the parent-teacher conference all the teacher said is that it’s been a challenging year. ‘Adam’ has reported to his father that he’s had 6 English instructors instructing him since October 21,” Khong explains.

“There are very real casualties of the lack of action on our file and there is a growing sense of outrage of the hypocrisy and impotence of the communication process. The Horsefly parents and community are prepared to take a step further if the need arises.”

The School has been without a principal since October 21.

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