A civil healthy society requires a populace to not just have a foundation of literacy and social well being but also the frequent critical and skeptical thinking that provides fairness and equality. Justice requires strong institutions but also a public that can freely communicate thoughts and concerns in order to build a social contract that matures. Erin Porter a BC teacher displays critical thinking and expressive communication skills we should all celebrate not suppress.  Congratulations Erin! -Al Smith!/taraehrcke/status/178244336033595393


Critical thinking and Bill 22 – A teacher rebuts George Abbott

Dear Minister Abbott:

Imagine there are two children arguing in the playground over a toy. Picture a tall, brutish bully, and a wiry, bespectacled nerd.  Never mind that the toy belongs to the nerd.  Never mind that the bully pushed the nerd over and took the toy.  Just imagine that you walk into the situation with no foreknowledge of any thefts or pushing. Perhaps you ask to hear the story.  Perhaps you even believe the bully’s story that the nerd is greedy, and has lots of toys, and for some reason wants to take away the bully’s toy just for fun.  Perhaps you distrust the nerd, because you once knew a nerd who was untrustworthy.  Now imagine that the bully pushes the nerd again. Right in front of you.  Another student runs in and shouts at the bully to return the toy: you have a witness!  It did belong to the nerd after all!  Suddenly, the bully steps on the nerd’s throat and says, “If you try to stand up to me, if you tell on me, I’ll make you pay.  I’ll take all your lunch money, every day, until you give up.”

Remember, this is happening right in front of you.  What do you do?

This is what we call an allegory.  We teach people to stand up to bullies.  We teach people to stand up for what they believe in, even in the face of bullies.  We are B.C.’s teachers and we are being stepped on.  What will you do?

Erin Porter
Greater Victoria School District> wrote:
Thank you for your email regarding the current contract negotiations with the BC Teachers’ Federation.

Government introduced Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, to suspend the union’s strike action, … “


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