Rookie school trustee being shut out by board vets

Deborah Nohr being treated like a child by fellow Greater Victoria School Board members

Re: Victoria school trustee publicly scolded (vicnews.com)

The article about Greater Victoria School District first-time trustee Deborah Nohr being censured by fellow trustees is very aptly titled. The word “scolded” conjures up images of adults reading the riot act to a child who isn’t obedient to them.

But Nohr is not a child. She is a very well-educated woman with a teaching career that gives her valuable perspective to bring to our school board table. And Nohr has a right as well as a responsibility to ask questions of administrators and longtime trustees, to better understand the underpinnings of motions that she must make decisions about.

This latest attempt to pressure Nohr to fall in line with the decisions of longtime trustees is having a backlash. Those of us who follow school board politics know Nohr is doing her job representing her constituents and we value her efforts to make decision-making in this district more transparent. We know that any thriving public institution draws upon the expertise of every member of its elected board and that this dynamic is not in play.

We can learn from the business community about the folly of not valuing all of the expertise around a board table.

We, the taxpayers, are the investors in public education. And we need to pay more attention to which of our trustees really are making a contribution to our school system. Unfortunately, most of Nohr’s contributions, and those of other first-time trustees, are mostly blocked by longtime trustees. Voting records from April 2012 onward can be found on the School District 61 website.

Starla Anderson

Saanich