I have been following, with much interest, the recent debate and discussion surrounding the development of policy to support LGTBQ students and staff of a separate school system. My interest is largely because, I believe, as an individual elected by the Public, to make important decisions for children, it is my job to stay in the know regarding all social and educational matters.
You can also appreciate that this topic is now at the centre of many conversations. I have personally received many calls and questions from those who know me as a strong advocate for children, families and community, and as a long serving, locally elected Trustee for public school education. I appreciate the views that have been shared with me for they assist me in performing my role.
The one thing that is astoundingly clear to me, is the lack of understanding regarding LGTBQ issues, as well as the difference between publicly funded and public education. In a blog post, written by separate school Trustee Patricia Grell, a clearer understanding of this is expressed.
It is critical that at all times, we are listening to our public and that they know their voice is necessary and valued by their public school board.
I also know that we simply cannot please everyone in our decisions, however our ultimate priority and concern must always be based on what is best for our children.
In saying that, we must challenge ourselves to grow our understanding of each and every matter. We must set aside our personal opinions to ensure at the very minimum, our actions are reflective of supporting and protecting our youth, while modelling the values that will strengthen our society long after our period of influence.
We may not always agree on matters, but we must always do what is right for our children. Our children are watching and they are counting on us.
About Arlene: Arlene Hrynyk serves as the President of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta. She is unwavering in her commitment to always put Children First and is guided by the words of Dr. Haley Simons who says, "children are worth our life's blood to fight for."
Connect with Arlene on Twitter.