Student trustess?

Parskville Qualicum Beach School board debates merit of adding a student to the board table

Whether the local school board will bring student trustees to their table was a topic of debate last week.

Trustee Julie Austin brought forward a motion that the board of education explore with local student groups whether they would be interested in being student trustees. And further, if there is interest, that they adopt the policies and guidelines to make it happen. Ontario has mandated that school boards have student representation, Austin said, and Vancouver school board is running a pilot project to have a student trustee on their board.

But the idea didn’t fly with trustee Barry Kurland.

“To me this is a motion that looks really good on the surface, but I don’t see it really enhancing student achievement or helping the board in its work,” he said. The students wouldn’t have a vote, he said, and couldn’t come to in-camera meetings, and the population of students in Vancouver is far greater than the population of students in this district, he said. There are other opportunities through local Parent Advisory Committees and community forums where it would be more appropriate for students, he added.

Trustee Ross Milligan disagreed with Kurland, and said the trustee’s primary role is advocating for students and having their opinions would be helpful.

Acting superintendent Rollie Koop said he didn’t want to speak for or against the motion but challenged the trustees to ascertain whether asking a student to take time out of their schedule and sit in on the meetings, met their needs.

“Some of us struggle to be here for three hours,” he said.

Austin responded that some of the students in the district are more adult than many adults she knows.

“They have opinions, they have ideas, and they should be heard,” she said.

Chair Lynette Kershaw said she supported the motion but asked Austin to separate it into two motions, the first to see if there was interest, and the second to adopt policy and guidelines to implement the positions. The motion to gauge interest passed with only Kurland voting against, while Eve Flynn was absent.

Just Posted

A very cheesy Christmas at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

Annual family Christmas event, this year with raclette hot off the melting wheel

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer cash, root beer and hand sanitizer

Oceanside RCMP receive 249 complaints in one-week period

Solutions in sight for Parksville Qualicum Beach doctor shortage

With feasibility study funded, group shares vision of ‘campus of healthcare’

Raise the curtains: New outdoor theatre coming to Parksville

A $204,000 boost comes from Island Coastal Economic Trust

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read