Letter to the editor 5, October 1, 2015

Dear Editor,

Last weekend, the Quebec Liberal Party held a 'Forum on Education in the 21st Century' that attracted many people, including seven of the nine Quebec English school boards' chairpersons.

Their mission was to voice displeasure and make their views known to Premier Philippe Couillard and Education Minister François Blais, who were present, regarding the government's intentions to truly democratize our public school system.

On Monday, September 28, the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) put out a press release, and the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) held its regular monthly Council Meeting.

The press release stated it was, "…pleased with Premier Couillard's declaration that school boards structures are not on his agenda in education."

They never were; the only thing, in that regard, was the matter of elections. There will be none.

At the school level, the government acknowledges that school principals with governing boards, which include parents, teachers, and other people, who have a vested interest in the students, are best suited to respond to the children's needs.

Meanwhile, at the Council meeting Chairperson Suanne Stein Day echoed parts of the press release comments verbatim.

Later in the meeting, it was announced that she and her predecessor, Marcus Tabachnick, who is the Executive Director of the QESBA, were named to be directors of Education Internationale. It was also said that Stein Day was running to be vice-president of the QESBA.

The news release, undoubtedly composed by Mr. Tabachnick, interestingly, proclaims, "School board democracy, with elections by universal suffrage, is a fundamental principle for the English-speaking community in Quebec."

How ironic that Stein Day and Tabachnick, who are among the loudest voices in QESBA, calling for democracy, denied - and still denying - my democratic right to speak at Council according to Article 168 of the Education Act - a practice that I have been doing for about 17 years. I wonder who’s next.

How ironic that these chairpersons, who are constantly looking for relevance as QESBA educators, have not been in a classroom at all, except as spectators.

Chris Eustace

Pierrefonds

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