BC Views: Cold climate on Planet BCTF

Tom Fletcher responds to comments made about his last column on the teachers' strike.

The stories began tumbling out as soon as last week’s column on teacher union indoctrination of students was posted on our websites.

Most parents, retired teachers and administrators requested anonymity, because their kids and grandkids still have to go to school, or they have relatives or fair-weather friends in the B.C. Teachers’ Federation who mustn’t be enraged by any contradiction of their dogma.

There was the Grade 3 art class in Langley where students were assigned to create anti-Bill 22 protest signs. There was the Grade 6 teacher in Greater Victoria who started a one-hour drill on BCTF talking points by telling students not to believe anything they see in the media. There was the middle school in the Gulf Islands that dismissed students early to force them all out in a show of solidarity against the latest of many legislated settlements.

And there were the BCTF-BCGEU pickets that blocked entrances to government offices here in Victoria, harassing, threatening and physically blocking office workers in an effort to force them to join the thousands bused in for the traditional howling show of strength for Big State Labour bosses on the legislature lawn.

In my 20 years of criticizing the policies and tactics of teacher union radicals, I have had my office windows smashed twice. I have seen a mob of self-absorbed strikers push a senior off the sidewalk into the snow. My daughter has been subjected to hard-left environmental propaganda in elementary school. I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

But hey, let’s be constructive here. First, I should emphasize I understand that these incidents do not represent the vast majority of dedicated teachers, who wouldn’t think of intentionally abusing their position for personal or political gain. I mean that sincerely.

And thanks to all the teachers who sent me lecturing letters, particularly those who insist that they don’t really want another 16-per-cent raise, because their first priority is improving classroom resources.

Volume doesn’t permit individual responses to everyone. Authors who begin along the lines of “Sir, you are an idiot” receive lower priority. If I don’t get back to you, please convey your willingness to accept a brief wage freeze to your union executive. They’ve scaled back some of their more egregious prep time and paid leave demands, but apparently your admirably altruistic message has not yet been absorbed.

And yes, I’m aware that the Harvard study of class size and performance I mentioned last week examined charter schools in the United States. I understand that “charter school” is considered coarse language in B.C. As with health care, there must be no serious competitive dynamic or other dangerous experimentation permitted within the unionized state monopoly model.

And thanks for suggesting I’m an agent of the B.C. Liberals, who invented poverty 11 years ago.

East Van MLA Jenny Kwan touched on it in the debate on Bill 22. Children coming to inner city schools hungry, inadequately clothed, with lice. Abused children.

I can assure Kwan that these tragic realities are not confined to the hellish B.C. Liberal era of spending increases.

Indeed, I witnessed all these things in my three-room school in Tomslake, B.C. in the 1960s. Social Credit was to blame then. I remember the school more for its great teachers than its undrinkable water or alcoholic principal.

And to all those who provide spelling-challenged advice on journalistic objectivity, here’s the thing. The first rule of opinion writing is to have one. I’m not looking for middle ground in the cold vacuum between Earth and Planet BCTF.

 

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Skeena Queen, serving the Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route has been out of action since early Wednesday morning, forcing BC Ferries to cancel eight sailings connecting the Saanich Peninsula and Salt Spring Island. It is not clear when service will resume. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Ferries cancels additional sailings to Salt Spring Island

With repairs to Skeena Queen underway, it is not clear when service will resume

A Saanich police officer in an unmarked vehicle stopped a driver going 70 km/h over the speed limit in front of the police department. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver caught going 70 km/h over the speed limit in front of the Saanich Police Department

Officer in unmarked car issues $483 ticket, week-long vehicle impound

Saanich police are investigating a break-in that occurred at the Liquor Plus in the 3800-block of Quadra Street sometime overnight on Oct. 20. (Google Maps)
Investigation continues after overnight break-in at Saanich liquor store

Small wood panel removed, multiple items stolen

BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau says British Columbians face a choice between “false majority government” and a “more cooperative, collaborative” form of governance during a campaign stop in Saanich North and the Islands Monday (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
BC Greens leader makes pitch for minority government during stop in Saanich North and Islands

Sonia Furstenau calls on British Columbians to reject ‘false majority government’

Victoria police ticketed and impounded the vehicles of two drivers after they were caught speeding through a school zone. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two drivers caught doing nearly triple the speed limit in Victoria school zone

Almost $1,000 in fines, vehicle impounded for each motorist

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Reader’s Lens
Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking toward the Salty Towers dock and East Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking… Continue reading

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Chris Istace campaigning in Crofton. (Photo submitted)
Green Party’s Istace apologizes for remark about First Nations gaming grants being a ‘handout’

Island candidate determined to do better in thinking and communicating matters of reconciliation

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
2 years after huge highway acid spill, Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Most Read