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COMMENTARY · 26th April 2012
Nils Fredrickson
Dear Prince Rupert School Board District #52

Hello Tina, Lynn, and Dave;

Good morning! I thought you should be made aware of the International Jackasses you have made of yourselves and one of my favourite towns.

Please read how Prince Rupert made International News again here:

Excerpt from the Huffington Post;
Throughout history, books have been banned for various reasons -- for sex, for language, for racism and for viewpoints. In British Columbia this week, a quote from Dr. Seuss' Yertle The Turtle was on the receiving end of a boycott for a politically polarizing reason.

According to the Globe and Mail, an elementary school teacher in Prince Rupert was told she could not display the quote, "I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights” from the book in her classroom.

As Joanna Larson, president of the BCTF local in Prince Rupert noted on Twitter: [...]

Please tell me it isn't so. If this article is correct then all three of you deserve to be laughed out of town.

Mr. Stignant, since when is a simple declaration of the existence of human rights a left/right, ideological, or political, issue? All parties in a civilised and democratic country support the concept and reality of equal human rights, how did you miss that particular boat? When did educating children about their rights and duties in a civil society become too controversial and subversive to be allowed? Please tell me that "guidelines" from the Provincial Government brought you to this decision.

Lynn, as Superintendent you facilitated and implemented this decision. I presume you also appointed Mr. Stignant as Acting Director. Have you ever heard of "The Peter Principle"? It is a book which describes how people are promoted within organizations to a level just past their level of competence, sort of like a "best before" date for bureaucrats. Well you did it.

Tina, as the ELECTED face of School District 52 you are on the hook for this idiocy, as you should be. Tell me why it is, in a School District that is proud of its Native Education Programs as you are, that children should not be taught that they too have rights. I would have thought that building self esteem and a feeling of shared community in your underprivileged, under represented, and socially challenged indigenous students would be an added bonus to your programs. Instead these simple letters, written on a page with illustrations; "I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too have rights", YOU have banned a statement that is basic to the understanding of democracy from the sight of the future generations who may have to die to support it. SHAME ON YOU! It is up to you to end this silliness, please do it now before any more comparisons to Alabama are made about a town I love.

Nils Fredrickson
Richmond, BC
An Observation
Comment by James Ippel on 26th April 2012
This morning (April 26th) I listened to an interview of the action of the Acting Superintendant in the Prince Rupert School District and Bill Good on CKNW.
He categorically denied ordering the teacher to remove any referance to the Dr. Suess quote.
The teacher was ordered to remove political brochures from the walls of her classroom, remove political signs from her vehicle parked on school property, and to quit wearing politically expicit clothes (T-Shirts) on school property.
Now I know that many of you will immediately jump all over me for listening to Bill Good, but he, over a period of time, has gotten away from his CBC training, and is more receptive to putting forth both sides of the equation/arguement.
Continuing in this vein, many parents called in complaining that their children were coming home with political opinions that were instilled in them in the classrooms. Is it fair for teachers to preach their political opinion in the classroom. Why would kindergarten students write to the Minister of Education if they were not induced to do so by their teacher? Why would high school students protest that teachers were underpaid, but when asked by the media where they got this information they did not want to answer or said they were so informed by their teachers.
The BCTF blatantly states that their actions are all for the students. If that is the case, why are you insisting that VOLUNTEER services be withdrawn, and even go so far as to say that those who dare to continue to volunteer will be held accountable by the union. Susan Lambert as much as said so in a radio interview.
Ms Lambert reminds me of another radical leader of the BCTF--Jinny Sims. She used her position as leader of the BCTF to catapult herself into a very high paying position in the Federal Gov't. Is Ms. Lambert going the same route????
Both the Gov't and the Union have to come to their senses. Maybe thiswill bring some reality into the equation. Only a thought.