Saturday, July 21, 2012



(With some added comments in bold)
In 1881 the Blyth Public School Trustees decided to save some money and perhaps reduce the national debt, by lowering the pay of the teachers.The principal's salary was cut by 10% and that of the two female teachers by a little over 11%.

The press story at the time reported "This step has elicited public dissatisfaction in  a very marked way, A petition signed by the large majority of the ratepayers, praying that the salaries be left at the usual figure, was presented at the trustee meeting last Saturday evening"

The trustees had moved and seconded that.the petition be filed (i.e. ignored) but it was later decided that the petition be tabled for consideration at the next board meeting.

The newspaper correspondent added "It is to be hoped that our trustees, who are certainly elected to carry out the wishes of the ratepayers, will in this instance show their good judgment by acceding to the unmistakable evidence of public opinion, and grant the prayer of he petitioners".

If only we had a school board today who actually listened to public opinion and reacted to what they heard. We don't know the outcome of that next board meeting, but given the first response, we could infer that the reconsideration would be sincere and honest. The important difference is that that board was considering the wishes of the citizens of Blyth - not the dictates of Seaforth or Toronto bureaucrats.

Sincere and honest! Imagine what it would be like to be able apply such epithets to our school board (Avon Maitland DSB). Instead we have a small gang of absentee overseers who are utterly disconnected from their electorate, blindly and mutely following a group of overpaid, incompetent, bureaucrats who know little and care less about education but whose abilities are limited to manipulating numbers on spreadsheets.

They stole our school away from us because the spreadsheets indicated that they can't afford to operate a school in Blyth any longer. They gave no consideration as to whether Blyth could afford to lose its school, which should have been the main factor. 

Somehow they managed to find thirteen or fourteen million dollars to build a big new school that is not needed or justified in Wingham.

Now the Wingham Business Alliance is bragging about this new school which makes Wingham so much more attractive than poor old Blyth which (can you imagine?) does not even have a school. Poor old Blyth. Don't move there or your kids may have to attend school in portables in Londesborough  of all places.

And the Wingham Business Alliance says that if you need more information about this wonderful Wingham, just go to the website for North Huron which will answer all you need to know about this wonderful way-better-than-Blyth town.

Brock Vodden

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