This past Monday during Question Period, Alberta’s Minister of Education was asked some important questions in the Legislature.
And he refused to answer them.
Thank you to Leela Aheer, Education Critic for the Wildrose, who specifically questioned the Minister regarding the news I broke in a March 13th blog article about sexually graphic content on the Alberta Education recommended website:
“Will the Minister tell parents: Whose fault is this? Why no one is monitoring this? And who is going to be held accountable?”
These questions are critical. The answers (or non-answers) to these questions directly impact the safety of your children in schools and the confidence Albertans have in our K-12 education system.
Instead of answering the questions, Minister Eggen claimed that:
“the very moment that we found this link, which was several steps removed, we had the people take it down”
“Certainly, as I said, the incident that was initially brought up we dealt with immediately… Certainly, we have worked to address this”
“we dealt with this in an expeditious manner”
However, these statements do not answer the questions at all.
First, the links went directly from the government recommended website to Facebook groups with content inappropriate for children – not several steps removed and certainly not a single link, as Minister Eggen attempts to suggest.
Second, while some inappropriate links were immediately removed the day after I published my original blog article, there were still several others that continued to exist for another 3 weeks. Stay tuned for a future blog article about those.
In fact, it wasn’t until April 4th – the day after Leela Aheer’s questions in the Legislature – that the entire “Community Supports” section completely disappeared from the GSA Network site (anyone interested in browsing the community support links that used to be available, can refer to this document).
What the Minister of Education still does not understand is that removing links does not solve the problem.
Superficial changes to the website will not resolve the deep violation of trust which has occurred between Albertans and those we entrust with the care of our children.
Simply put – the problem is not the site, but the source.
What assurances do we have that the same “experts” who provided children with access to such inappropriate support links will not still provide unvetted resources privately to children through the GSA Network?
These are critical questions, especially in light of the Minister of Education’s new edict on Monday to all Alberta schools that parents should not be told if their child is involved in a GSA.
What are these provincial “experts” – and the government – trying to hide?
Leela Aheer’s questions in the Legislature echo my own: Why no one is monitoring this? And who is going to be held accountable?
We cannot allow the government of Alberta to compromise the safety of Alberta students by refusing to hold the organizers of this website accountable.
Please watch the new video below which clearly explains why removing a few links does NOT solve the problem.
To find all links and my P.O. Box mailing address referenced in the video, go to: Sexually graphic material to kids in Alberta schools: What you can do
We all must stand together for the safety of children in Alberta schools. Please join us and take action.