Schools have no right to keep secrets: parent

Parents notified about field trips, then gay-straight alliance membership too

Dear editor,

I am writing to voice my strong disagreement with the article that appeared in the Pipestone Flyer regarding why parents should not be informed when their child joins a gay-straight alliance club at school.

At no time, as a parent, have I abdicated my responsibility and commitment to my child and I certainly have not handed over the raising of my child to teachers, schools, bureaucrats or activists nor an advisor that has been hired to oversee gay straight clubs.

When my child is at school they are in the care and custody of that particular school for a set number of hours in the day and if during that time my child goes on a field trip, participates in a sporting activity or joins a club sponsored by the school I expect to be informed.

A parent knows their child from birth, if that child has suffered a trauma or a particular challenge, the parent is well aware of the details, and by not engaging parents in the life of their child, they are in effect cutting that child off from important supports connected to their home, including their doctors and pediatricians, extended family, psychologists, psychiatrists, special needs supports and faith communities.

When a teacher becomes aware that a parent is being abusive towards a child then this situation should be addressed and brought to the attention of the proper authorities, but these situations should not be used as a rationale for secrecy.

Members of the Alberta Teachers Association who participate in the enforcement of this secrecy in our children’s schools should be ashamed of themselves.

As a parent I am the primary caregiver and decision-maker in my child’s life and education and I do not plan to allow anyone to usurp that role.

Marcia Stymiest, Wetaskiwin