Parent Power Outage
Kids Helping Kids
Spread The Net Buys Bed Netting For Africa
PARENT POWER OUTAGE!
Look at the state of parent activism and advocacy in our schools
Finally, the inaugural meeting of Abbotsford SD #34 District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) will be October 25, 2012. Abbotsford parents plan to restart our District Parent Advisory Council public meetings next Thursday. But only after shutting down for over half a year and cutting some school Parent Advisory Council (PAC’s) public meetings by half. There are 47 schools in Abbotsford School District, with 47 Parent Advising Councils (PACs) and 47 Council Chairs. In the last five years, I have only ever seen all 47 PAC Chairs gather once for a District meeting. It is a rare thing to ever see more than a dozen parents gathered together anywhere, unless it is a parenting event, like Operation Lodestar. And the dozen who do gather, are usually the spouse of a teacher, a school board employee, like a secretary, or an outright teacher. Some Abbotsford schools for example, have just appointed parents, who are also teachers from other school districts, to be our Parent Advisory Council (PAC) chairs. Some schools have already decided to leave only three more public parent meetings for this year. All the school decisions that get made every year will still be made by teachers, but with little or no oversight from parents. Only months ago, Abbotsford school board stated it would put a stop to these conflict of interest problems, but instead trustees now seem to turn a blind eye to the exclusion of parents and limiting of public information about schools. Parents across Canada are on the Web talking about this “PARENT POWER OUTAGE!”
Nongovernmental Organizations Need Oversight
Compare the Mandate of the Ombudsman in All Ten Canadian Provinces
There is lots to learn about protecting children. Canadians are trying to hold both governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) accountable for the decisions they make about children. The Canada-wide chart comparing all provinces came from the Ontario Ombudsman’s website.
First Abbotsford District Parent Meeting Oct. 25, 7pm
Come to the school board office or join the online conversation
Our District Parent Advisory Council chairman, Bud Loewen, is letting his name stand for re-election. Bud will be putting together an agenda for our inaugral meeting. Our former DPAC chairwoman, was Rhonda Pauls, who resigned to run as a trustee in Nov. 2011. Rhonda is now the vice-chair of our School Board. Leave a comment below if you have any items you would like added to Bud’s agenda. You could even try nominating a parent to one of the executive positions, but you need to get them to show up in person Oct. 25 to be elected. It’s a very common cry in Canada, that we need more women in politics – this is your chance.
Courageous Teen Crusader Shot By Taliban
Attack highlights education challenges girls face in Pakistan
My friend, Daniel, was born in Kenya. In the Spring of 2012, he taught me about the 84 year-old Kenyan man, who took up his government’s offer of free education for everyone. Look for his photo about half way down the page of my May 19th post.
But in Pakistan, there doesn’t seem to be much free government education. Many Pakistani families are struggling to make ends meet, and if they have money for books, school uniforms or private school tuition, they often prefer to spend it on education for one of their male children. In this Vancouver Sun article, Bismillah Jan, a teacher from Mir Ali town in the North Waziristan tribal area, said most parents were happy to send their daughters to schoool, but many had large families and couldn’t afford to send everyone. Conservative families worry about sending their daughters to school, with boys and male teachers. Only 39 per cent of schools have electricity, and only 62 per cent have bathrooms, according to the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child. The lack of bathrooms, especially separate facilities for girls, deters many parents who don’t want their daughters to have to relieve themselves in a field.
Groups that have had success in educating girls say they have focused on those parental concerns, building schools close to communities, constructing separate toilets for girls, boys, and teachers. They also hire female teachers from the same community as the students.
Aside from all these parent issues, the Taliban is terrified of girls who can read. In a bizarre twist of the old saying the pen is mightier than the sword, these terrorists fear educated youth may have questions about harsh dictators.
Federal Equal Parents Bill Coming
Canada’s Equal Parenting Bill Needs Provincial Support
The British North America Act of 1867 states divorce is an issue exclusively in the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada. But Canada is a federation of provinces and territories, which share authority and have a long history of working together. For example, if a Canadian citizen brings a Constitutional Challenge against the Government of Canada in the Abbotsford Provincial Family Court of British Columbia, the case is heard before a Provincial Court judge, who is the Guardian of the Canadian Constitution. Notice of the impending Constitutional Challenge must be sent to the Attorney General of Canada. This shows the multiple layers of governments and laws that need to change to allow Canada to create an equal parenting law.
In speaking with other Canadians online about our badly broken divorce system, I am starting to wonder about the support of Provincial politicians for an equal parents bill, like C-422. Divorce has been turned into an industry with tentacles into every aspect of Canadian life, including all three levels of politics, our legal system, our education system, our healthcare system, and our temples and churches. None of these systems hesitate to exclude, one of the parents, usually fathers and their families, despite decrying children’s need for two parents. And in Abbotsford we have seen that almost any adult will jump in to help alienate a child – even child advocates like judges, teachers and sports coaches. We need to ask our next batch of provincial nominees, if they support an equal parenting bill before we elect one of them?
I spoke with Paulette MacDonald, the Vice President of the Canadian Equal Shared Parenting Council, on October 17, 2012. She said that in Ontario they are really excited about the joint response from provincial and federal politicians.
How do we get that joint response in British Columbia? I think we need to press for it from any politician seeking a seat in our May 13th Provincial election. But we don’t know who is running yet. Our Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly, Randy Hawes, is stepping down with no replacement found so far. Equal parenting would seem to be the next step for the BC Liberals, after all, why do we need mediation unless we are going to have two parents? Litigation does not worry about children’s need for two parents, only the government’s need for money.
The British Columbia Conservative Party intends to run candidates in all ridings, but has not nominated anyone for our Abbotsford-Mission riding.
The BC New Democratic Party will soon be choosing a day in January to hold their nomination meeting and are the only party that offered to let me know the date, so I can observe the nominations. Only members can vote for for nominees, and parties require a cash donation to become a member.
Please email randy.hawes.mla(at)leg.bc.ca and tell him we need equal parenting in Abbotsford and in Canada. For British Columbians living outside the Mission-Abbotsford riding, ask your local Member of our Legislative Assembly to review the amazing research on the Australian Equal Parenting Law. Ontario also has a Spring Provincial election, so now is the time for joint action.
Australia’s Amazing Equal Parenting Law 2006
Australia’s Equal Parenting Law Reduces Child Abuse To Lower Rates Than Intact Families, Empowers Women, and Reduces Male Suicide
This family law website says Australia’s Equal Parenting Law was created in 2006. Paulette MacDonald of the Canadian Equal Shared Parenting Council say that from 2006 – 2009 three good things happened for Australian parents and their families. First, and this is astounding, children in Shared Parenting arrangements had the lowest recorded incidence of child abuse in Australia, even lower than that of intact families. Second, each parent was provided a regular opportunity to periodically focus on their needs, whether that was employment, education, friendship or relaxation. Women were provided an opportunity to fully engage in the work force to the same extent as that men. And finally, the suicide rate for men dropped significantly in Australia since 2006. I encourage everyone to read these amazing Australian research results.
Connecticut Equal Parents Bill
Lobbying the Connecticut legislature to stop parental alienation
Like Canadians, Connecticut parents say, “We want to create equal parenting & punish parental alienation.”
Men’s Health Minute
Months of Combat (In Family Court?) Can Lead To Declines In Memory, Verbal Acuity, And Focus. Marines Use These Strategies To Build Mental Resilience
Where do you get your health information for boys and men? From a magazine? From the Marines? Well, that might not be all bad. Here are fun and useful tips for managing stress for everyone.
La fête des bulles d’amour – 25 avril, 2013
Ensemble, nous sommes capables de beaucoup.
Il n’y a que 183 jours avant la journée de sensibilisation!
Bubbles Of Love Day – April 25, 2013
Together We Can Make A Difference
Only 183 days till Awareness Day!