Imagine your two year old runs onto a road.
Your parent reflex immediately kicks in.
You run to your child. You take them away from the road and explain why roads are not safe places to play and explore.
Now imagine the next day your two year old runs toward a road again.
Will you just shrug your shoulders and say, “well, I’ve done my job to tell them once already. They should know better” and leave them be?
Not a chance.
In fact, you will instinctively do the exact same thing as you did before. You will run to your child and again bring them a safe distance away from danger.
One time, two times… or a hundred times if necessary.
If there is one lesson I have learned as a mother and an elementary school teacher, it is that children require tremendous amounts of repetition.
In fact, parents and teachers are often heard reminding children to listen, share, focus, say please and stay safe around roads – to name just a few examples.
Tremendous amounts of time and energy are expended toward these constant reminders. Why? Because they are viewed as an important investment toward a safer, healthier and more successful future for our children.
How are politicians like 2 year olds?
Over the past 16 months, I have communicated with thousands of people across the province, including parents, teachers, school administrators, lawyers, politicians and members of various faith communities regarding changes, challenges and choices affecting Alberta’s education system
During that same time I have participated in numerous advocacy opportunities including Facebook open letter campaigns, a Twitter campaign, online petitions, a huge rally and now a letter writing campaign.
Sometimes it is tempting to start thinking it’s not worth it: “What’s the use? We’ve already invested effort. It doesn’t seem like the politicians are really listening. Why bother going through all of that again?”
But that is exactly when we need to remind ourselves how politicians are like 2 year olds.
Just as we have certain goals and standards for our children, so too we have certain expectations of our politicians.
And when our politicians are not meeting that standard – especially when it comes to ensuring the safety and health of our kids – then we need to let them know.
No matter how much we may sometimes want to give up, we persist. Why? Because we understand that politicians – like 2 year olds – sometimes require many, many reminders.
Sexually Graphic Material to K-12 children – make your voice heard
As many of you know, I published a blog article in March exposing how a government-funded and recommended website for K-12 students provided community support links that led children to sexually graphic material.
Within 24 hours of publishing that information on my blog, many of the links were removed. Three weeks later, the entire community support section was taken down. However, as I explain in the video below, removing links does not solve the problem.
The Alberta GSA Network, organized by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS), was never meant to be a passive source of information for K-12 children, but an active network with a goal to “connect with local organizations, community groups, and schools across Alberta.”
Many questions remain unanswered, including:
– Why does our Alberta government continue to entrust iSMSS, who has severely violated the public trust, with a position of authority over K-12 children in any capacity?
– Why is the Alberta government still allowing students to register their club online so iSMSS can continue to “provide other community supports” directly to children?
– Given the lack of competence demonstrated by iSMSS with vetting external links, why should Albertans have any confidence in how they are directing and connecting schools and students to local organizations and community groups?
– Why is the Alberta government allowing children in these school clubs to connect with external support groups with no accountability or oversight, yet is explicitly forbidding the notification of parents?
Albertans expect and deserve a much higher standard from those entrusted with the care of children in our education system.
When your two year old runs onto a road you will not hesitate to bring them back to safety and remind them that roads are dangerous places to play.
When your politicians endanger children by continuing to entrust their care to those who have demonstrated incompetence then you should not hesitate to communicate your concerns and demand action be taken.
Watch my video to learn what you can do to make a difference, including writing letters, maximum of 1 page long, that can be mailed to my address (PO Box 92131 Meadowbrook, Edmonton AB, T6T 1N1). More details available here.
The deadline of May 12th is quickly approaching and the more people who speak up, the greater our impact will be.
Let our MLAs, Minister of Education and school board trustees know that when it comes to the safety and health of children we will continue to be persistent, no matter how many reminders it takes.