Parent group raises concerns over campaigning at Greater Victoria schools

Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils says some candidates contravening school district policy

The Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils is asking Greater Victoria board of education trustee candidates to follow school district policy and keep election campaigning away from schools.

Earlier this year, the board of education voted unanimously in favour of supporting a policy which prohibits candidates from campaigning on school grounds, including distributing campaign materials on campuses.

But despite their support of the policy, it’s one that candidates have violated during this campaign, confederation president John Bird said.

The confederation reports receiving parent and staff complaints regarding candidates visiting school grounds, candidates depositing campaign materials on bulletin boards, use of district email to disseminate campaign materials and a vehicle parked in a school parking lot mounted with a campaign billboard.

“The general public votes for all the trustees, (and) parents are everywhere … so why do (candidates) decide they need to encroach on the school properties?” Bird asked.

“They have multiple ways of getting their message out. I just don’t think it’s necessary to politicize the school grounds.”

On Nov. 8, the confederation sent a letter to candidates asking for their commitment to uphold the policy – as well as the “spirit of the policy” – by not campaigning adjacent to the boundaries of school campuses. Candidates had a chance to respond the following evening during an all-candidates meeting.

While all 16 candidates agreed to abide by the policy, a handful of the trustee hopefuls took issue with being asked not to campaign on public property near the schools.

David Bratzer was the first to openly admit to approaching parents near school grounds, for which he was met by a round of applause from an otherwise tranquil audience of about 25 spectators.

“I understand how important it is to follow the law and any policies that have been put in place, but this is a public sidewalk we’re talking about, and it’s a fundamental Canadian value to be able to participate in an election campaign on a public sidewalk,” Bratzer said. “People in countries all over the world are envious of these rights and freedoms that we have.”

Deborah Nohr argued that parents have been very excited to meet candidates in this environment and offer feedback.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People-less protest in Victoria holds space for victims of police brutality, systematic racism

People are asked to come learn the names of the lives lost to the hands of racism

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Most Read