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Teachers Will Not Allow LaGrange’s Threats and Intimidation to Be a Distraction

Release Date 2021 12 09

Teachers are prepared for the incoming attack from Education Minister Adriana LaGrange to dismantle Alberta’s teaching profession. The minister has said that the government is planning to split the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

ATA president Jason Schilling describes the minister’s plans as a sad effort to distract from her own inability to handle the education file.

“The MLA for Red Deer-North was handed a golden opportunity to lead one of the world’s top-performing jurisdictions when it comes to K–12 education. Instead of supporting it and fostering it, she has delivered nonstop attacks intended to weaken and destabilize it.

Debilitating funding cuts, a completely disastrous curriculum and a COVID-19 response that was completely negligent in protecting Alberta families have driven our education system to the point of crisis. But, if the minister follows through with her destructive plan to splinter the teaching profession, Alberta’s public education system will crater.”

—ATA president Jason Schilling

LaGrange is spinning a 15-year-old discipline case as cover for the vindictive attack on teachers. Schilling says her argument is spurious, noting that the CBE is the party being sued for its inaction on the file.

“In this case, only one party did the job it was supposed to do, and that was the Alberta Teachers’ Association. As a result of our processes, this teacher was removed from the profession and never taught again.”

—ATA president Jason Schilling

Schilling points out that the Government of Alberta itself failed to report the case to police when it received the report of the teacher’s conviction of unprofessional conduct in an ATA disciplinary hearing.

He also notes that the government’s own process is completely devoid of transparency and includes recent cases of superintendents and private school teachers who have been allowed by the Minister of Education to abuse people and continue in the profession. Even while the Association and government officials were working to improve processes governing all discipline processes, no indication was given that this plan was in the works.

“This is why teachers and an increasing number of ordinary Albertans just have no trust in this Minister and the government’s agenda for education.”

—ATA President Jason Schilling

Schilling is calling for teachers to prepare for a vigilant defense of public education like they have not seen before. What is galling is that in an attempt to distract from its own successive failures, the Government is attacking the Teachers’ Association.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members.