Why do I picket?
I have had the pleasure of working at Pinewood Elementary School for 20 years. I have worked as a specialist teacher in the music and library department. Since I started I have seen and experienced changes that I can only attribute to the steady decline of funding from the provincial government.
In 1991, Pinewood had a full time principal and a half time vice-principal. Today we have no vice-principal and a principal working just over half time with the same responsibilities. In 1991, Pinewood had a full time student services teacher. Today it is at .6 and projected for only half time next year.
In 1991, students were offered the choice between band and general music. The band teacher also had time in the week to work with each section of the band separately (sectionals). Today students have no choice but to take band and I volunteer my time for sectionals.
In 1991, the teacher-librarian position was half time (2.5 days a week). This year I have 1.5 hours devoted to the library weekly. Next year it is projected that I will have 45 minutes total per week to work in my role as a teacher librarian. In 1995, my library budget was $2,748.00. Today my budget is approximately $300-$500 for books.
I realize that Pinewood does not teach Grade 7 students anymore, and that we are experiencing declining enrollment, but I do not think this justifies the level of reduction of service to our students. My school administration and school board would love to provide more, but how can they when the funds are not forthcoming? When it is reported that teachers want more specialist time it sounds like time over and above what we usually get. In most cases we are just trying to inch our way back to prior levels. I believe kids are important, and even in difficult economic times our children are worth investing in.
I know why I am picketing and I hope you will support teachers trying to secure a better education for your kids.
We cannot come to grips as to what kind of hunter would kill a sow bear with cubs and not have enough time to check for cubs. Why destroy a bear and leave the carcass?
If a mistake was made, why was this not reported to the Fish &Wildlife Branch of the Ministry of Environment? Was this just for sport? If so, shame on you.
If the incident had been reported, maybe a fine would be the result, but I doubt that will ever happen, seeing the past records of this department. We also find it unbelievable that no conservation officer could be reached on the weekend. Were they all on holidays on the long weekend?
Thank God that someone made the effort to rescue the cubs and bring them to safety. Obviously this pair has respect for our wildlife and surroundings. It seems to us that most people just take everything for granted in our area by abusing our wildlife and forests. Killing wildlife, destroying the environment with garbage and off-road vehicles, etc, is just a lack of respect. Do they not know what they have?
I doubt very much that anything will come of this incident like so many others in the past.