The teachers on the front lines need to keep their focus on the students.

Nelson teachers need to grab hold of umbrellas

As spring break winds down this week, the battle over the future of public education continues to rage.

As spring break winds down this week, the battle over the future of public education continues to rage.

The war of words between the Liberal government and the BC Teachers’ Federation has been bubbling for many months. With the passing of Bill 22 in the Legislature, the intensity level has been cranked up a few more notches.

Looking at the stream of press releases arriving to the Nelson Star over the last few days, it’s hard to know what to believe.

Here’s what Minister of Education George Abbott had to say in a Monday morning statement: “Overall, Bill 22 takes a reasonable, respectful and responsible approach that provides all parties with a real opportunity to move beyond the challenges that have characterized this school year and work together to improve our education system.”

A few days earlier the BCTF issued their own press release which included: “Bill 22 has devastating implications for teachers’ bargaining rights and that’s not the worst of it. Bill 22 also enables government to further cut costs by eliminating effective class-size limits for Grades 4 to 12, protections for class composition and guarantees of services to students with special needs.”

Clearly the sides live in two different worlds, both of which seem far away from our reality here in the Nelson area. Yet even in our little plot of the province, the pitch has been dialed up. There has been an increase in letters to the editor as those with the strongest opinions can no longer hold back.

It’s become a perfect storm for public dialogue and in the coming weeks umbrellas will be mandatory. Public education is exactly that: public. It involves taxpayer money, the leaders of our future, the union movement and government direction. It’s hard to find anybody who doesn’t have at least some thoughts on the saga.

As students and teachers head back to class next week, one thing educators on the front lines can’t do is take it personally. The large majority of teachers are doing a tremendous job. As the war of words gets even nastier, teachers need to weather the storm and keep focussed on what really matters: the students.



Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

Evacuation alert for Syringa and Deer Park

The Syringa Creek Fire grew Saturday resulting in evacuation alerts.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Bent On Art Festival gives Kootenay Pride a creative outlet

The festival runs Aug. 27 to Sept. 2 during Pride festivities

VIDEO: Auto repair shop celebrates Nelson mural festival

A painting by Barry Overn at Downtown Automotive turned heads at the festival opening.

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

The pilot project provides seasonal workers with up to five more weeks of benefits

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report

Trump takes to Twitter calling Robert Mueller “disgraced and discredited”

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Most Read