In response to Adriana LaGrange’s recent statement about creating a “Students First Act,” I have some serious concerns.
Her public statement begins with “Fourteen years ago as a newly elected [Catholic] school board trustee” she heard some concerning issues about a “lack of transparency in teacher disciplinary process.” Why did she not bring up this concern at that time? She then discusses a single case from 2019 where she “handed down a lifetime teaching ban.” She then says that “cases are dealt with away from the public view,” which is the legal and disciplinary process in any professional organization.
She then confuses Teacher Certification with Vulnerable Sector record checks which, by the way, I have required for every school I have ever worked in. Not only does she appear to be attacking teachers in these fear-inducing statements, but the very school boards that hire them and the legal system responsible for investigating any allegations harm to children. Who made her sole judge and jury?
Of course we need to put children first and protect them. However, I cannot help but notice the contradictions of LaGrange’s choice to release this supposedly heroic statement after a) being unaware of Nazi statements in an Alberta Education document on diversity; b) continuing to defend the failed draft curriculum that experts have declared harmful, c) the ongoing lack of consultation with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Elders & Knowledge Keepers around how to best teach children about residential schools; d) the poor conceptualization of consent in the curriculum; e) creating cuts to educational funding that impact students with special needs; and d) lack of transparency. In my opinion, none of her decisions to date have put children first. I have zero faith this is anything other than lip service or her last ditch attempt to put “Me First.”
Dr. Angela Grace, Calgary