THINGS WE MUST REMEMBER
We realize that Blyth Public School is gone and will never return.
But there are a few things surrounding the loss of the school that none of us should forget.
I refer to the manner in which the Avon Maitland District School Board, its members and its senior staff conducted themselves, and the way the Minister of Education and her officials encouraged those behaviours.
When someone lies to me, or deliberately does something to me that is unwarranted, unfair, and harmful I will never enter a trusting relationship with that person again unless I am given absolute proof that he or she has transformed himself or herself in some spectacular and convincing manner.
We should apply the same standard to public servants who mislead us and betray our trust. We must not forget! Not ever!
The school board and staff misled us. They manipulated the ARC process so that the Blyth business community and our municipal council were not involved to represent us. Only one of the ARC meetings was advertised in the Citizen. Their spokesperson publicly denied those proven facts.
Board staff long denied rumours that they were planning to move Grade 7 and 8 students into F.E. Madill School. In a meeting we had with two senior staff and a contractor, the word slipped out that they had been planning this for the previous three years. The flustered administrators tried in vain to cover up the unintended disclosure.
Our school board representative never asked for our opinions, never explained why she voted to close our school, and never apologized afterwards for what damage the board did to our community. Some representative!
And then the whole sham was white-washed by a facilitator who ignored the intrigue and scolded us for objecting.
The end results of these events are what they are, and will not be changed. But my message is that we must not forget about the ethical breeches and the manipulations done by people who should have represented us. We can only guess what other secret schemes they are harbouring if we renew their mandate.