Teachers have choice to attend grad, field trips - InfoNews

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Teachers have choice to attend grad, field trips

Image Credit: Jenn Stahn
May 31, 2014 - 9:24 AM

KAMLOOPS — Superintendent Terry Sullivan has been dealing with calls from irate parents as teachers announce cancelled school events and he wants to make it very clear, the district has not prohibited their participation, the choice to take part is up to each teacher.

“We’re not cancelling anything,” Sullivan says. “If teachers are supervising the trips and they choose to cancel, it’s up to them to tell the parents. It’s their choice.”

Sullivan has been dealing with upset parents that have been told the district is not approving the trips, while the teachers’ union has claimed their members are not covered by workers compensation for those activities.

“That’s just nonsense. The president of the BCTF is saying teachers will not be covered by WCB if they go on these trips,” he explains. “We have been given a letter from WCB indicating they are, with exactly the same coverage.”

“I understand if teachers are saying they don’t want to go on a trip because it’s part of their job action, and I respect that, but it’s their decision.”

While several trips and the district track meet have been cancelled Sullivan points to trips that have already taken place this week. Field trips at the elementary level and athletic and extra curricular field trips at the secondary level have continued with teacher supervision.

In between dealing with upset parents and supervising students during recess and lunch hour, the school district administrators have been busy getting prepared for graduations. This past week several grads were held, and the district honours were handed out.

Next week is packed with graduations as well.

“We’re busy getting prepared for those because it’s absolutely essential we have those,” he says. “I don’t want any student to be bitter 10, 20 years down road they didn’t get a graduation."

Sullivan hopes teachers who are parents will show up for the ceremonies as well.

“It’s their right, I don’t see any prohibition from the union about attending as a parent.”

Week two of rotating strikes will take place next week. Kamloops teachers will be walking picket lines on Thursday, June 5.

Other links:

Letter from Work Safe B.C. noting teachers are covered during the current strike and lock out.

Letter from province outling the lock out.

B.C. Teachers' Federation response to the lock out letter.

FAQs on the lock out from the province.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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