39Reasons: Reason#22 Designation

This story is among the #39Reasons I am running as a Trustee for Vancouver School Board (VSB). Each story is based on my experience working at the VSB for over 7 years.

“He’ll age out in five years and by that time he’ll have barely made the list....”

I paused to understand what I was hearing

An educator’s worst nightmare – not being able to provide a level of service that meets your quality and ethical standard

He wasn’t disruptive in class, he never used physical force or violence to get his point across

He could sit still and at least look focused, focused enough not to draw negative attention from his teachers

Then it happened, his locker was searched

Everyone was left wondering how a quiet unassuming kid got involved with such a negative crowd

He was caught and guilty and now the influence of his new “friends” were questioned and that’s what did it

He was seeking a group, a place where he could belong and found it at a cost

I realized that what the educator meant was, his issues with reading and writing that were related to a learning challenge wasn’t enough to warrant the attention of one of the few qualified psychologists

So there he was, gaining the attention of adults, but now as a possible criminal worth investigation, this is where the impact of poor decision-making became obvious

When students are absent from our decision-making processes, so too are the intersections of their experiences that aren’t seen or understood. We have an opportunity as adults to identify knowledge gaps, share power and bring these voices to the center.

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