Monday, August 25, 2014


Lets talk about respect for a moment....shall we.  Respect is an action where an individual will show regard or consideration for something or someone.  As parents we spend a great deal of time teaching our children this very simple and basic action throughout their childhood.  "To earn respect you must give respect".  Simple....right? Well not always. 

A person of authority is someone whose real or apparent authority over others inspires or demands obedience.  This would include parents, teachers, and police officers as traditional authority figures, for children, at least.  I would like to think that "inspires" obedience is something that would be practiced by most authority figures towards the average human being, as opposed to "demanding" it.  Yet sometimes obedience is "demanded" in a very disrespectful manner by an authority figure just because they can.  Let's call THIS power and control, which is the number one trait of a bully.  

Quite frankly I don't care who you are.  A parent, a teacher or a police officer.  If you don't conduct yourself respectfully toward another individual you don't deserve it in return, and I don't care if you are wearing a police uniform or not. Just because someone wears a uniform does not exempt them from being an ass.

I have experienced and learned a great deal over the past 9 years as it relates to bullying.  A huge common denominator are the complaints I receive from youth who have lost all respect for their police services because of their personal experiences. Because of the very disrespectful manner a police officer handled a situation.  It's a real shame.  Those who don't deserve to wear the uniform give it a bad name.

Example: 19 year old driving a three toned, run down vehicle because that's all he can afford, is driving home from a labour intensive job.  He is grubby and dirty looking because of dealing with piping etc. all day.  He is driving the speed limit and is stopped by police who asks for a licence and registration which is respectfully handed over.  The next command from the police officer is that this young driver open the trunk of his car. When the officer was asked for his badge number the young driver was sent on his way.  This certainly does not look like profiling.....or does it?  Has this professional individual of authority overstepped his bounds?

Next example:  A 17 year old student is stopped by a police officer after having been up for 24 hours working on a school assignment.  Eyes are tired and blood shot. The officer asks how much pot the student smoked. When providing the answer of "none", the student is threatened with an "obstruction of justice" charge if they don't admit to having smoked pot.  So they admit to it simply because they are terrified of being charged.  Nice - lets get our young jammed up unnecessarily. Is there a quota trying to be reached in this example, or is it an issue of power and control?

Last example:  A mother is asking questions of a police officer regarding the process of their child being arrested.  She is accused of being uncooperative.  Why - because she is just looking for information?

I have been employed within the legal profession for the past 32 years.  I believe in justice, but not in the judicial system we have.  And as far as rights and freedom of speech go.....well it's something that isn't always permitted, even if it is respectful, when dealing with a police officer.  Because in this country, you are guilty until proven innocent. 

Parents - prepare your children with this useful information. Make sure they know what their rights are.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Union Member Entitlement

First….and foremost….I hold the teaching profession in the highest regard.  But then I read headlines like this and my back does go up. 

There is a definite holier than thou attitude when it comes to public sector workers v. private sector workers.  At the end of the day it is government that has allowed the union entitlement get to where it is.  I work hard (without a raise in the past five years I might add).  I pay my taxes, which support my school board.  I, therefore, have the absolute right to express my opinions about the all-mighty Union. 

Our teachers enjoy a level of protection far beyond their perceived 'right' to retirement security. Expensive labour lawyers, working at taxpayers’ expense on behalf of boards of education are very busy working against union lawyers, employed to defend the rights of their “brothers and sisters”. They debate and settle cases ranging from monetary abuses to sexual misconduct and we never hear a thing about it. I'm sure it would blow the minds of the majority of parents currently forced to fund the education system. The list of problems and injustices are just too many to cover, but the one that is most disturbing is the hijacking of the anti-bullying campaigns initiated by people like myself.

The only group, now being advocated for as a result of all of our efforts appears to be those who belong to the LGBQT movement. What happened to protecting straight, overweight boys, or girls with a speech impediment, with protruding teeth or thick eyeglasses? What day and month of the year is their parade? The original fight was for fairness and equality. And what do teacher's pensions and benefits and the anti-bullying/gay rights movement have in common?  Special interest groups have united while the rest of us slept through it, and they have united to become an extremely difficult force to contend with.

There has been a Union call to arms of partners which include:  teacher unions, nursing unions, postal workers unions, indigenous groups, LGBQT groups, migrants, immigrants, people with disabilities, prisoners, the Communist party of Canada, pot smokers rights groups…just to name a few.

The majority of these groups depend on taxpayers for their existence yet most taxpayers are so busy working and taking care of their day to day affairs that they don't even realize that these groups have united, and not for the benefit of the average working, taxpaying, law abiding citizen. It's only once you realize that you begin to notice their constant presence in the news, always being victimized by the government, calling on their “brothers and sisters” to fight austerity. They spend millions and take over election campaigns.  Now compare the list above to the following, and then give some thought to Ontario citizens who are NOT receiving the quality services that they pay for:  students, patients, seniors, veterans, straight people, taxpaying citizens, private sector employees, victims of crime, and young rape victims forced into prostitution.

The autonomy attached to our educational system, whether it be student safety, whether it be academic…..can be considered, in some instances, to be almost criminal and with Union support.   

I spent three years trying to keep my child safe at school.  The educational system failed my child miserably.  So when I read “Ontario high school teachers prepared to fight back against austerity” AND “We want to move towards a fair deal; we’re not looking for disruption” I think to myself…..wouldn’t it be great if every parent in the province of Ontario could home school their child the exact same month, and then ask for a tax credit. 

In the last round of safe school legislation, not ALL children who were perceived as being different benefited from the changes? There is just one, perceived to be 'different' group, who benefited more than the rest?  If we allow the syphoning off of funds to support special interest groups with interests detrimental to the majority, we will be in for a rude awakening in 2015!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


On Monday, July 21, 2014 PC MPP Mr. Jeff Yurek questioned the Minister of Education about what process the ministry follows to ensure school boards comply with anti-bullying legislation, how the Ministry keeps school administrators accountable, and the process having failed in his riding.
The Hon. Liz Sandals replied with “Not every incident turns out to be managed 100% perfectly”. This is a response that is not acceptable to us or any other Ontario tax payer whose child has been let down by their education system. The message the Minister of Education sent with that statement held the tone of “oh well – we’re not perfect – get over it”. The problem is many children are still trying to do just that. That kind of off the cuff remark is disrespectful to all young people who have suffered as a result of non-proactive administrators and other adults within the educational institution.
The non-compliance that Mr. Yurek speaks of is as a result of Ministry PPM’s that contradict existing legislation. The results from two separate Freedom of Information Requests clearly indicate the true lack of attention the issue of bullying is being given by our school boards. PPM's do not equate to statute law. They are guidelines at best with no requirement to report back to the MOE thereby making PPM's redundant.
The Minister of Education also mentioned that parents should be “contacting their local trustee, because it is, in fact, the local trustees who are accountable for ensuring that safe school legislation is put into place.” Parents do contact their elected school board trustees and they repeatedly retort with "it’s a governance issue and go back to your Principal as they have the ultimate say." There is a huge disconnect as to what the Liberal government says happens and what actually takes place. Trustees have no power or authority. Since the ministry changed their governance model from Site Based Management to the Carver model the school system is in disarray.
At the end of the day the issue of bullying within Ontario schools remains chronic and the manner in which some situations are dealt with is nothing more than shameful with our children paying the physical and emotional price.
The PC party failed to vote in favour of Bill 13 the Accepting Schools Act because it was not an anti-bullying piece of legislation. Very little has changed for the London and York Region Anti-Bullying Coalitions. We continue to receive the desperate phone calls and emails describing situations that were not “managed 100%” and the long-term consequences of this.