Self-interest in Salmon Arm

I feel the teacher at Salmon Arm Secondary’s Sullivan campus are using misinformation and cronyism to attempt to sway public opinion about future school district changes.

Their motives are completely self-serving.

(North Okanagan-Shuswap Board of Education) trustees had a very difficult decision to make to accommodate our fast-growing district. It came down to either splitting to two high schools now, instead of several years from now when it will be a higher priority, or spend millions of dollars more to keep things fairly similar to the way they are now for a while longer.

There’s much more to it than that and if you’re interested, I encourage you to educate yourself about it. At least listen to the board meetings where the subjects were discussed and voted on.

Why are these senior teachers at (the) Sullivan (campus) and their friends so against this? They’ll have their public statements, but I believe it comes to this: these teachers are high up in union seniority. They worked hard to get what are some of the most wanted jobs in the district. By shuffling the high school structure, they have to make new lesson plans, teach new classes and worst of all, teach one of the hardest and least popular grades to teach— Grade 9.

They think, “My friends and I are high up in our union. Why should we have to change when the school board could simply cut some programs from other schools so that things remain the same for us a little bit longer?”

That explains why these certain teachers are giving their students partial information and encouraging them to protest and have their parents protest.

What about the other prominent opponents in the community? The local teachers union president recently retired from Sullivan and is friends with, and was part of, the senior teacher group fighting against change. A local city councillor who retired from Sullivan is friends with, and was part of, the senior teacher group fighting against change.

The single trustee that voted against ran his campaign on the promise of (somehow) building the second high school in his community of Sorrento. Ridiculous.

Nobody wants to see the grad class split up. This structure was a part of many of our lives. But the town and district is growing (and) the split is inevitable. By doing it now, we save millions of dollars that would otherwise be cut from programs across the district.

It’s a classic technique of sore losers. When a decision doesn’t go your way, blame “the process.”

Meanwhile, you’ll keep hearing these people refer to things like a “survey” that was done at Sullivan that shows almost all students are against this direction. The “survey” was literally: “Do you think the high schools should be split into two”. No other information.

Anyone who refers to this as a survey clearly has ulterior motives.

The people involved with this recent push to vilify the trustees in order to protect their own self-interests, and those of their buddies, should be ashamed of themselves.

Bryce Fuller

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