The Minister of Education Responds
My very first blog post was a letter I wrote to my local MPPs and the Director of Education (you can read it here … seriously, you can go. I’ll wait right here). It was in response to Premier McGuinty’s announcement of a “locked door policy” at all elementary schools, in reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut last December. It was also forwarded to the Minister of Education by one of the MPPs.
I was’t actually expecting a response but it seemed as though the Director of Education, David Euale read my letter and this was what he had to say, earlier this January:
Thank you for your articulating your thoughts so well. I agree with many of your points and if this decision remains a Board based decision (rather than a provincial regulation) we will give your views serious attention.
Well, lo and behold didn’t I get another response yesterday. In my inbox was a reply from the Minister of Education. “Wow! Pretty cool,” I thought. And then I read it. Um, you tell me but is this response a reply to the letter I wrote? (Go ahead, it’s all official-like) Honestly, I’m wondering why she bothered to reply at all? I guess since I didn’t expect a response my expectations weren’t too high. According to this article (you don’t have to read this one) only 850 of 4000 elementary schools (21%) participated in the initial government program.
So to reiterate: Your letter is important. You need something. This is something. Your children’s safety is important. We need to do something. This is something.
A Globe and Mail columnist, Marcus Gee wrote this, (it sounds similar to my letter) and states:
It can’t be good for children to persuade them they live in a dangerous world with deadly threats lurking around every corner. A healthy respect for proven risks like crossing the street without looking is useful. Fear of remote threats like a mass school shooting is not.
I too, still believe a “locked door policy” only sends the wrong message to our children and other parents. Your children are now safe, but only while locked inside because, what crazy lunatic (upset mother, disgruntled husband, freaked out gang member) would ever target children or teachers outside, playing at recess and cause a ruckus, right? Nope they would just wait until the children and teachers are all locked up safely inside before being denied entry.
I just don’t see what threats are happening that all schools require locked doors at the elementary level? And somehow those threats disappear for 20 mins every recess.
I leave you with Dick. Dick knows rucksus (then I swear no more reading, my brain hurts).
Richard Vernon: [From his office] Jesus Christ Almighty!
Richard Vernon: What in Gods name is going on in here?
Richard Vernon: What was that ruckus?
Andrew Clark: Uh, what ruckus?
Richard Vernon: I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus.
Brian Johnson: Could you describe the ruckus, sir?
The Breakfast Club – 1985