Public & Private Law

At this time’s letters: Ottawa’s Pinecrest Public College wants assist

Friday, Dec. 23: Readers categorical issues concerning the standing of a public faculty the place each security and studying issues have been raised. Write to us at: [email protected]

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Pinecrest College violence just isn’t distinctive

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Re: Defiant college students, fearful academics and an elementary faculty in disarray: What actually occurred at Pinecrest Public College? Dec. 17.

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I joined Michael Sternberg in retirement from the Ottawa-Carleton District College Board on the finish of August after 31 years within the career. Amongst the components that contributed to my choice have been the growing violence in faculties and the truth that colleagues have been being unfairly investigated below a course of that endured for months.

The state of affairs at Pinecrest Public College just isn’t distinctive to that one faculty or Ottawa. As an elected member of the native union government, I used to be fairly conscious of the rise in violence and disrespect that was happening all around the OCDSB. Ottawa dad and mom could also be shocked to listen to that the best variety of violent incidents reported are coming from our kindergarten lessons.

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I maintain each Particular Schooling and Principal {qualifications} and thus perceive the wants of youngsters with challenges, and people of the “system.” The OCDSB, like different boards, has a Progressive Self-discipline and Secure Faculties coverage which outlines how one can take care of kids who persistently pose a threat to themselves and others. It’s developed to think about the entire little one. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be used to disregard the applying of pure penalties and permit kids to persistently destroy the instructing and studying surroundings. Tradition, ethnicity and gender shouldn’t be used to excuse people from their actions. After we achieve this, are we actually getting ready our youngsters for the society that we dwell in?

Lecturers and their college students have a proper to attend faculty in a secure and welcoming surroundings. Unacceptable behaviour should not be allowed to perpetuate within the title of “inclusion.”

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Shawn Marmer, Ottawa

No hazard? Then why the lockdown?

A scholar bringing a knife to high school, and the administration then sending a be aware house to oldsters claiming that college students and employees have been by no means in peril, actually makes Pinecrest Public College’s management seem lower than truthful. If there was no hazard, why was there a lockdown and why have been police referred to as in?

E.D. Campbell, Nepean

This faculty is in want of assist

A “Third Path” may be useful as an academic philosophy, emphasizing the significance of relationship-building and understanding the roots of a behaviour. It might solely work, although, if there was an underlying tradition of authority, and never as a alternative for it. “Policing” can be a precious software if it derives from total authority and respect for legislation.

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These aren’t contradictory. Poorly understood and applied ideas can flip even a college into some model of “Lord of the Flies,” with energy usurping authority at many ranges, together with the administration. If correct, Pinecrest College wants assist.

Arthur Leonoff, Perth

Everybody ought to have a secure surroundings

I’m certain there are kids from difficult backgrounds who want “to be listened to,” however have we misplaced all sense of proportion? We now have kids wandering the halls refusing to hearken to any authority figures and exhibiting whole lack of respect to academics.

I’m certain that just a few of those kids with troubled backgrounds want understanding, however we can not permit these few to bully and dictate requirements to the remainder of the scholar physique. All college students and employees ought to have a secure surroundings, not considered one of concern and intimidation.

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Evidently principal Naya Markanastasakis, possibly with the most effective of intentions, has managed to create a poisonous surroundings at Pinecrest Public College, with, it appears, the total approval of the Ottawa-Carleton District College Board. Perhaps she ought to take into account a profession in social work moderately than in schooling.

Maureen Trisnan, Ottawa

Each child wants self-discipline generally

One in all my kids’s highschool academics as soon as instructed me that he and lots of of his colleagues felt that the fashionable instructing strategies they’ve to make use of don’t allow them to adequately put together their college students for the actual world. After studying concerning the occasions at Pinecrest Public College, I can see the place he’s coming from.

Each guardian is aware of that youngsters want self-discipline generally.
It helps train them proper from improper and that there are potential penalties to at least one’s actions. How the principal and board assume that letting children be bodily and verbally abusive in the direction of one another and employees with impunity helps obtain that purpose is past me.

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If that is the best way these children are ready and allowed to behave at such a younger age, I’d hate to see how they’ll be appearing as older youngsters and younger adults.

Stephane Quinty, Merrickville

Why are academics being despatched house?

I used to be saddened, however not shocked, to learn the story about Pinecrest Public College. Sadly, this isn’t an remoted incident. In recent times, native faculty boards have reverted to hiring non-public legislation companies to research dysfunctional faculties, and putting academics on “house task.” Final yr, a minimum of 5 senior academics from one Ottawa highschool have been despatched house for months on finish.

These skilled academics sat at house, remoted from colleagues and college students. One can solely think about the affect this has had on their psychological well being.

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College directors have misplaced the flexibility to run their faculties. The place directors as soon as handled employees points “in home,” they’re now required to cross issues up the chain to the central board workplace. Within the meantime taxpayers are caught paying for this misuse of sources, whereas  faculty boards dodge their accountability for coping with the very points they have been employed to resolve. Many Ottawa faculties and employees are struggling. It’s time we took be aware.

David Nesbitt, retired OCDCB instructor, Ottawa

Public faculty board is wilfully blind

Kudos to Jacquie Miller and the Ottawa Citizen for reporting on the Pinecrest Public College chaos. As a lately retired educator with 30 years within the public faculty system, I’m deeply disturbed, however not utterly shocked, by the sheer anarchy reported. The incidents described by each college students and academics look like a real-life “Lord of the Flies,” abetted  by tepid and ineffectual administration.

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Whereas there are possible many causes for the disarray at Pinecrest Public College — such because the suspension of in-class studying throughout COVID — the state of affairs is exacerbated by a wilfully blind faculty board that seems obsessive about fairness, variety and inclusion, moderately than with creating an surroundings conducive to studying for all college students.

Sadly, the OCDSB is reaping the whirlwind of being a public establishment soaked in WOKE ideology that labels expectations and penalties as oppression. Is it any shock that increasingly more dad and mom are contemplating the non-public system for the schooling of their kids?

J. T. Waterhouse, Ottawa

Time to learn ‘Lord of the Flies’

When there’s a breakdown in a rules-based society and there aren’t any penalties to an individual’s actions, chaos reigns and folks get damage. Violent acts in opposition to academics and college students appear to go unpunished. A number of academics have been despatched house from Pinecrest Public College, most likely for attempting to regulate poor behaviour of their classroom.

I’d name assaulting different college students and bringing weapons to high school dangerous behaviour. This week, we realized of eight younger teenage women charged in a Toronto man’s swarming loss of life. Perhaps faculty principals in addition to dad and mom ought to learn William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.”

Nancy Biggs, Orléans

Who’s in cost at this faculty?

Methinks the inmates are operating the asylum.

Sharon MIntz, Ottawa

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