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 Post subject: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 6:24 pm 
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Concerns over school principal sparks heated exchange in the P.E.I. legislature
Teresa WrightPublished on April 30, 2014Share 103 0 Comment
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© Guardian photo Province House in Charlottetown
Questions today over a parents’ group concerned about their school principal led to a heated exchange between the premier and Opposition leader.

A group of parents at Miscouche Consolidated school have major concerns with their principal, but the group cannot get a meeting with the education minister or with the school board to share their concerns.

Opposition Tory MLAs brought the situation to light during question period Wednesday, asking Education Minister Alan McIsaac why he is refusing to meet with this group.

McIsaac said the matter must be dealt with first at the school board level. Proper procedures must be followed, he said.

“This is an issue that has to be handled very properly, there are accusations made, we don’t know whether they are true or not,” McIsaac said.

“We have to go through proper procedures, proper protocols. It’s not a witch hunt or anything, we have to look at the facts before we finalize the whole issue.”

The Miscouche Concerned Parents’ Group has a petition, alleging mismanagement at the school and asking for the principal to be replaced. The petition alleges the principal is “dismissive and confrontational.” It also claims bullying at the school has been ignored, that academic programs like the science fair have been abandoned and that security measures within the school are not being followed.

The petition is signed by 55 parents, which they say makes up over 50 per cent of the parents at the school.

The group has been seeking a meeting with the school board superintendent and the education minister, but have been told each parent must file individual grievances which would then be followed up with interviews with each parent or family.

“This is an issue that has to be handled very properly, there are accusations made, we don’t know whether they are true or not,” Education Minister Alan McIsaac
Officials will not meet with the group as a whole.

“These parents, these families, are getting extremely concerned because this has been going on for close to four years,” Aylward said.

McIsaac said he has met with Opposition Leader Steven Myers on the issue, and that Myers agreed not to bring it up on the floor of the legislature.

“Because it is not an issue to be discussed on the floor of this house, and I’m actually disgusted,” McIsaac said.

Aylward says the parents are so frustrated they asked for the issue to be raised during question period.

He then asked whether the group’s concerns are falling on deaf ears because the school principal’s brother is deputy minister of education.

This led to a heated exchange between Myers and Premier Robert Ghiz, who were quipping at one another while Aylward questioned McIsaac. Later, Myers raised a point of privilege, alleging Ghiz threatened Aylward’s wife’s employment during this exchange.

The speaker has taken the matter under advisement.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 6:53 pm 
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Two statements that are important in this article.

1.The petition is signed by 55 parents, which they say makes up over 50 per cent of the parents at the school.

2.The group has been seeking a meeting with the school board superintendent and the education minister, but have been told each parent must file individual grievances which would then be followed up with interviews with each parent or family.

If you have this many people wanting to meet the board it should be done since it makes up more than half of the parents.
One would think it would be easier dealing with the group as a whole than one at a time.If 55 parents are dealt with one by one it could take quite a while to schedule appointments to meet both parties timetables.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 6:54 pm 
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Personally, I would say no. I do not think HR issues are something to debate on the floor of the legislature. I would question how many of the parents have followed what the story states is the proper process, that being requesting individual meeting with the school board to voice concerns. I also applaud the board for refusing the group meeting. Group meeting can quickly evolve into a mob mentality where they become more of a bullying session rather than a productive forum to gather information. This is very important as it could have a direct impact on a person's livelihood. I would also imagine there could be some union protocols to follow as well, though a principal may be excluded. Very tactless, or even classless to bring a HR issue up on the floor where they identify the individual involved. I believe they are very lucky they have privilege there preventing them from facing a lawsuit.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 6:59 pm 
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It's not the HR issues but the fact that no one would meet with them. The HR issues was the back story as to why the parents want to meet with the minister.

And yes, inaccessibility to the minister should definitely be spoken about in the Legislature especially when your constitutants asked to have it brought up. That's his job.

Another eyebrow raiser is this "Ghiz threatened Aylward’s wife’s employment during this exchange." Anyone know if the mic's picked up this exchange?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: April 30th, 2014, 8:36 pm 
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PEI is small place, with few, mostly related people and we have way too many levels of government. Ideally, we would become just one NS or NB municipality. Savings from completely shedding off two levels of bureaucracy would let us afford all kinds of good things.

Anyway, anything that goes in barber shop is fit for our legislature.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 6:27 am 
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Nomie wrote:
It's not the HR issues but the fact that no one would meet with them. The HR issues was the back story as to why the parents want to meet with the minister.

And yes, inaccessibility to the minister should definitely be spoken about in the Legislature especially when your constitutants asked to have it brought up. That's his job.

Another eyebrow raiser is this "Ghiz threatened Aylward’s wife’s employment during this exchange." Anyone know if the mic's picked up this exchange?


I think that the parents were given the protocol, which didn't involve meeting with the minister and that is what they should follow. The Minister should be the last person to get involved, and in this case would have to recuse himself on this matter if he is related to the person in question.

And if you read the paper today, Ghiz didn't threaten anyone. Alward asked if the Minister had a relative in the department, and Ghiz responded with "Do you have a wife that works for Government?" It simply points out that just about every one, whether in the legislature or not has family working in Government. Myers is trying to spin it as a threat for cheap political points.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 7:58 am 
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I guess it does cover, to some the degree, some aspect of issues of public importance. However, some of these elected officials don't have the intelligence or discretion to discuss such an issue without personal attacks on each other and turning the whole thing into an embarrassing charade.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 8:11 am 
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New Guy wrote:
Nomie wrote:
It's not the HR issues but the fact that no one would meet with them. The HR issues was the back story as to why the parents want to meet with the minister.

And yes, inaccessibility to the minister should definitely be spoken about in the Legislature especially when your constitutants asked to have it brought up. That's his job.

Another eyebrow raiser is this "Ghiz threatened Aylward’s wife’s employment during this exchange." Anyone know if the mic's picked up this exchange?


I think that the parents were given the protocol, which didn't involve meeting with the minister and that is what they should follow. The Minister should be the last person to get involved, and in this case would have to recuse himself on this matter if he is related to the person in question.

And if you read the paper today, Ghiz didn't threaten anyone. Alward asked if the Minister had a relative in the department, and Ghiz responded with "Do you have a wife that works for Government?" It simply points out that just about every one, whether in the legislature or not has family working in Government. Myers is trying to spin it as a threat for cheap political points.


“These parents, these families, are getting extremely concerned because this has been going on for close to four years,” Aylward said.

When you think about this issue,one would think that all 55 parents would not be at issue at the first unless someone did something to annoy them all at once.
I am thinking since this has been going on for close to four years now,it might have started with a few and their concerns were not being addressed so they massed together since a group tends to get more attention than one person.
It seems to have worked as a group since the media and a few mla's are now bringing up their concerns.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 9:45 am 
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LostSole wrote:
It seems to have worked as a group since the media and a few mla's are now bringing up their concerns.


And it shouldn't have had to come to this point. It should've been dealt with with the few if it was as you say.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 10:40 am 
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LostSole wrote:
New Guy wrote:
Nomie wrote:
It's not the HR issues but the fact that no one would meet with them. The HR issues was the back story as to why the parents want to meet with the minister.

And yes, inaccessibility to the minister should definitely be spoken about in the Legislature especially when your constitutants asked to have it brought up. That's his job.

Another eyebrow raiser is this "Ghiz threatened Aylward’s wife’s employment during this exchange." Anyone know if the mic's picked up this exchange?


I think that the parents were given the protocol, which didn't involve meeting with the minister and that is what they should follow. The Minister should be the last person to get involved, and in this case would have to recuse himself on this matter if he is related to the person in question.

And if you read the paper today, Ghiz didn't threaten anyone. Alward asked if the Minister had a relative in the department, and Ghiz responded with "Do you have a wife that works for Government?" It simply points out that just about every one, whether in the legislature or not has family working in Government. Myers is trying to spin it as a threat for cheap political points.


“These parents, these families, are getting extremely concerned because this has been going on for close to four years,” Aylward said.

When you think about this issue,one would think that all 55 parents would not be at issue at the first unless someone did something to annoy them all at once.
I am thinking since this has been going on for close to four years now,it might have started with a few and their concerns were not being addressed so they massed together since a group tends to get more attention than one person.
It seems to have worked as a group since the media and a few mla's are now bringing up their concerns.

Wouldn't the other teachers on staff there be aware of this on going problem?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 10:58 am 
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Gardiner wrote:
Wouldn't the other teachers on staff there be aware of this on going problem?


Most likely.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 4:03 pm 
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Gardiner wrote:
LostSole wrote:
New Guy wrote:
Nomie wrote:
It's not the HR issues but the fact that no one would meet with them. The HR issues was the back story as to why the parents want to meet with the minister.

And yes, inaccessibility to the minister should definitely be spoken about in the Legislature especially when your constitutants asked to have it brought up. That's his job.

Another eyebrow raiser is this "Ghiz threatened Aylward’s wife’s employment during this exchange." Anyone know if the mic's picked up this exchange?


I think that the parents were given the protocol, which didn't involve meeting with the minister and that is what they should follow. The Minister should be the last person to get involved, and in this case would have to recuse himself on this matter if he is related to the person in question.

And if you read the paper today, Ghiz didn't threaten anyone. Alward asked if the Minister had a relative in the department, and Ghiz responded with "Do you have a wife that works for Government?" It simply points out that just about every one, whether in the legislature or not has family working in Government. Myers is trying to spin it as a threat for cheap political points.


“These parents, these families, are getting extremely concerned because this has been going on for close to four years,” Aylward said.

When you think about this issue,one would think that all 55 parents would not be at issue at the first unless someone did something to annoy them all at once.
I am thinking since this has been going on for close to four years now,it might have started with a few and their concerns were not being addressed so they massed together since a group tends to get more attention than one person.
It seems to have worked as a group since the media and a few mla's are now bringing up their concerns.

Wouldn't the other teachers on staff there be aware of this on going problem?


From the information i receive from the article the qualm is between the parents and the principal.The only way the teachers would know is if the parents expressed their concerns to them or the principal spoke to them about the issue.

Even if the teachers knew of the problems it would still be up to the principal to see the issue are being tended to since it would be his/her job to do so.

Now since it has been almost four years since this has started what ever they were trying to resolve the issue is not working and another solution should be put into place.

This should not be that hard to do since 55 parents make up over half of the school.If every parent had 2 children this would be a school size of around 200 children.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 1st, 2014, 4:40 pm 
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On the CBC site, it states that the School Board Superintendent has already started meeting with parents. If this is true, then Alyward stating the Superintendent would not meet with the parents is an all-out falsehood, whether is be Alyward not having good information or lying for political points. I would prefer to think the first. And if that is the case, he must have gotten this false info from the parents who are not happy. Now the question is, if they are being met with, but they went to a politician because they want someone fired, who exactly is doing the bullying?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2014, 10:20 am 
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New Guy wrote:
On the CBC site, it states that the School Board Superintendent has already started meeting with parents. If this is true, then Alyward stating the Superintendent would not meet with the parents is an all-out falsehood, whether is be Alyward not having good information or lying for political points. I would prefer to think the first. And if that is the case, he must have gotten this false info from the parents who are not happy. Now the question is, if they are being met with, but they went to a politician because they want someone fired, who exactly is doing the bullying?


Main word there is STARTED. She should've started meeting with them four years ago, not after this came out in the media/legis.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 4th, 2014, 8:38 am 
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Nomie wrote:
New Guy wrote:
On the CBC site, it states that the School Board Superintendent has already started meeting with parents. If this is true, then Alyward stating the Superintendent would not meet with the parents is an all-out falsehood, whether is be Alyward not having good information or lying for political points. I would prefer to think the first. And if that is the case, he must have gotten this false info from the parents who are not happy. Now the question is, if they are being met with, but they went to a politician because they want someone fired, who exactly is doing the bullying?


Main word there is STARTED. She should've started meeting with them four years ago, not after this came out in the media/legis.


I assume a meeting with the "super" would not be the first course of action, but rather the last after other options have failed. That being said, I don't see this meeting happening 4 years ago. However, if what is reported is accurate, and the issues have been going on that long and were bought up that long ago, it should not have taken 4 years to get to this point. 2 years would be pushing it.

Given all the contradictory information though between the two sides, without first hand knowledge of issues and people involved, I wouldn't be willing to state that this has been going on prior to this past September and the start of the current year. The way this has been reported, I would not be even remotely surprised to eventually find out that this issue stems back to an external disagreement between the principal and the parents, and may have little to do with the school at all.

With all this, my only hope for an issue like this is that politics would not be bought into it. It should be handle properly with all the necessary information collected and verified. This decision will, after all, have a serious impact on someone's livelihood.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 4th, 2014, 11:08 am 
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New Guy wrote:

I assume a meeting with the "super" would not be the first course of action, but rather the last after other options have failed. That being said, I don't see this meeting happening 4 years ago. However, if what is reported is accurate, and the issues have been going on that long and were bought up that long ago, it should not have taken 4 years to get to this point. 2 years would be pushing it.

Given all the contradictory information though between the two sides, without first hand knowledge of issues and people involved, I wouldn't be willing to state that this has been going on prior to this past September and the start of the current year. The way this has been reported, I would not be even remotely surprised to eventually find out that this issue stems back to an external disagreement between the principal and the parents, and may have little to do with the school at all.

With all this, my only hope for an issue like this is that politics would not be bought into it. It should be handle properly with all the necessary information collected and verified. This decision will, after all, have a serious impact on someone's livelihood.


Of course there will be contradictory information. Its almost always he said she said in these situations. Four years though is pretty specific and there is probably a reason for the four year mark and not two or one.

We all hope that politics would never have to get into this, but the system that this government put in place obviously isn't working for this situation and this was the parents next course of action after four years. If it had been handled properly in the first place (meeting with the parents and addressing their concerns, whether that had to do with a changes at the school or not, but at the very least meeting with the parents) it would never have gotten this far.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 4th, 2014, 8:08 pm 
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Has the superintendent been here 4 years? Isn't she fairly new?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this really something to be discussed in our Legislature?
PostPosted: May 4th, 2014, 8:10 pm 
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alandla wrote:
Has the superintendent been here 4 years? Isn't she fairly new?


She's been there about 2 years or so now, but they only combined the two school boards in the last year or so.


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