The following is a powerful blog post published by Donna Trimble, Executive Director of Parents for Choice in Education (PCE), which is being shared here with permission.
At this moment we stand at a crossroads in our province with a critical window of opportunity to organize and mobilize.
In order to make this vision into a reality we need an uprising of parents, grandparents and citizens in this province such that we have never seen before.
Please join together with PCE today by taking two simple actions to help make a tremendous impact.
When parents lose rights, children are endangered.
These were words I penned in a column An Alberta Parent’s Call to Action, printed in the Calgary Herald January 18, 2016.
I haven’t told many of the story that led to this column.
I was just a few days from the final, of six, chemotherapy treatments for Stage II Breast Cancer.
I was tired.
I was wondering, after working as Executive Director for PCE since January 2015, if it was time to step down.
Was it time for a stronger, healthier Executive Director to pick up the mantle and fight where I had left off?
Was there a better person to continue our work standing against progressive curriculum like Discovery Math that was failing Alberta students?
To demand amendments to GSA legislation to insist that parents remain the primary caregivers of at risk youth?
To defend Alberta’s legacy of funding a variety of school-choice options which save taxpayer money and provide for a competitive, healthy and excellent education system for all students?
In the midst of my deliberations, I woke one morning, turned on my computer, and witnessed NDP Education Minister Eggen at a media scrum, introducing the Guidelines for Best Practices-Creating Learning Environments that Respect Diverse Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities and Gender Expressions.
I printed and read the document, and I was shocked.
I decided then that I would muster the strength to pen one more column, and see if parents responded and whether I would continue.
The result was amazing! You did not let me or PCE down!
You all stood up and joined us at PCE and we grew by the thousands!
25, 000+ signatures were added to our petition for amendments. Thousands attended the May 2016 Rallies in Edmonton and Calgary to Protect Children, by Upholding Parental Rights.
When I stood before the Calgary crowd of loving families at the rally, I was in the middle of my final radiation treatments.
I was strengthened by your courage, and inspired by the love you showed for your dear children.
And I knew I could continue the fight for our children and families – not standing alone, but standing together with you.
AT A CROSSROADS
We are at a crossroads. Our organization has grown beyond our manpower. And again I am asking you to rise up, stand together and help us continue the fight for our children and our families.
We need YOU.
We need an uprising of parents, grandparents and citizens in this province such that we have never seen before!
We know the attacks on parental rights and school choice will continue to intensify while elected representatives from all parties refuse to stand against an agenda that we know creates unsafe schools and hinders the long-term success of Alberta students.
If the government pushing this agenda – alongside opposition MLAs too weak to confront it – have their way, families in the province of Alberta will be permanently weakened. This will be especially devastating for our most vulnerable youth.
Here are two actions that will take you a total of 5 minutes and help create a TREMENDOUS impact.
1. Sign up on our homepage
The United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership election and Trustee elections are quickly approaching in October, followed by nominations for new UCP MLA candidates to likely start in the spring.
We have a critical opportunity and responsibility to elect people to these positions who will uphold and defend parental rights in education.
PCE has invested in a new website with powerful database software which now allows us to organize and mobilize our supporters more effectively within specific constituencies.
Sign up on our homepage with your email and postal code so we can move beyond signing petitions, making phone calls and writing letters to politicians who choose to ignore them.
Let’s demonstrate to politicians that their very jobs depend on listening and taking meaningful action to resolve our concerns.
Time to vote out elected MLAs who have been weak on parent choice, and elect candidates that will be our voice; the voice of loving parents across this province!
Take just 2 minutes to visit our homepage and sign-up. Ask your friends and family to do the same.
Just 2 minutes, and our momentum will be unstoppable!
2. Become a monthly donor
We know you are busy and don’t have time to do the research, write the columns, meet with politicians and inform the public of all of the ways children are being failed by the education system in classrooms across the province.
Support PCE so we can continue to do the leg work for you. Monthly donor funds will help us budget for the following three critical needs:
Advertising – Too many parents across Alberta remain unaware of the dangers their children face. Through radio, printed packages, You Tube ads, social media, billboards, etc. we hope to reach a wider audience with important key messages regarding education in Alberta
Professionally produced 1-3 minute videos and animations – These videos will help give concise descriptions of key issues to inform and engage the public in Alberta on key education issues their students face.
2-3 part-time staff members – The attacks on school choice and parent rights intensify daily. We must hire part time staff in order to effectively keep abreast of it all and respond in real-time. We need staff focused on administrative tasks, data entry, research and communications to more effectively meet all the growing needs and demands we face every day.
While PCE is tremendously grateful for one-time donations, it is difficult to rely on this funding model alone when budgeting for regular, ongoing monthly expenses.
We have crunched the numbers and set a summer goal to find $6,000 in monthly donors, ready and in place for the 2017/18 school year, in order to meet those three critical needs.
With a newsletter list and Facebook page of thousands of people this goal could be achieved if only 600 people give $10/month or 300 people gave $20/month.
We thank everyone who has helped us reach 14% of our summer fundraising goal so far.
With only 21 days left, time is running out.
If you believe in the vision and work of PCE – to support Alberta students by advocating for excellence in education through maximum parental choice – please take 3 minutes TODAY to sign up to become a monthly core donor.
Visit our DONATE page and click on the “Monthly Donation” button.
A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH
We face a greater battle than the one I have faced as an individual fighting cancer.
We have in government a group of individuals that is set on replacing Alberta’s loving parents with themselves.
This cannot be allowed to continue.
Left unchecked, this ideological attack will overwhelm the natural balance of our communities, destroying families and thus the foundation of free society.
Those of us on the front lines face an uphill battle every day. It is your support that provides the strength and tools for us to continue this important fight
To WIN we need to stand together and become a serious force to be reckoned with in this province. We must be courageous and forthright!
To WIN we need to elect government officials at every level, especially school board trustees and MLAs in our Legislature, who will uphold the ultimate best practice for children in Alberta, namely that “Parents – not teachers, schools, bureaucrats or activists – must remain the primary caregivers and decision makers in their children’s education.”
To WIN we need to inform more parents in Alberta – too many who remain entirely unaware of what is happening – about the erosion of parental rights in education, which is resulting in the endangerment of children.
My future does not depend upon my physical health, and neither does yours, my fellow parents.
Our future depends upon our raising healthy, intelligent, good men and women that will carry on building up the foundation of our free society. We must raise our children so they will take our place as a bulwark of protection against the historical waves of ideology which seek to weaken the foundation of a free society – and that foundation is families!
This is our time parents! We need to rise up! Our children need us! They need us NOW!
Parents must be respected as the primary caregiver and educator of their own precious children. This can only happen if we have CHOICE in EDUCATION.
Family is the foundation of a free society, and we must ensure all future elected MLAs and Trustees recognise and honor that!
We are in a fight we MUST win, for the sake or our children and the future of our nation.
If our work at Parents for Choice in Education matters to you, then please take 5 minutes and do these two simple actions TODAY:
1. Sign up on our homepage
2. Become a monthly donor for as little as $10/month by visiting our DONATE page and clicking on “Monthly Donation”
Let’s win this war for our children and our families.
Incredibly grateful for your ongoing support,
Parents for Choice in Education
For more information on the details of what has been and continues to be rolled out in Alberta schools go to our PCE blog HERE. You can also explore our six areas of advocacy by visiting our homepage and clicking on the area that interests you.