Bateman parents want an investigation into the coaching they believe city Councillor Meed Ward gave trustee Leah Reynolds during a crucial high school closing vote.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 23rd, 2017



The fat is in the fire.

And it is going to severely burn a number of elected officials.

Bateman high school parents have been fighting doggedly to keep their high school. They have presented evidence that a member of the PARC and a city Councillor has been coaching a school board trustee on what to say during the critical June 7th meeting at which the trustees decided to close Bateman and Pearson.

The parent group has had the information since June 7th – and have held it while they strategize and determine how best to have the biggest possible impact.

They went for a TV interview with CHCH – they dropped the bomb in a Thursday evening broadcast that could derail the plans Meed Ward has had for running for the office of Mayor in Burlington.

Reynolds with Roberts rules

Trustee Leah Reynolds working from a well marked copy of Roberts Rules of order during the crucial June 7 vote on high school closings.

Leah Reynolds, the school board trustee who was being coached had plans to run or the ward 2 city council seat.

Meed Ward said she was not coaching anyone – but rather making comments on procedural issues.

Kelly Amos, the chair of the Board of trustees said no rules were broken and the Code of Conduct was observed.

When the Director of Education, Stuart Miller, advised the Board trustees last October that there were something in the order of 1800 empty high school seats in Burlington and that as Director he wanted to Board to do a Program Accommodation Review of the Burlington high schools.

The Board agreed and created a PARC (Program Accommodation Review Committee.

Those committees have two representatives from each high school in the city who look at all the information available and if they can make a recommendation to the Director who in turn makes his final recommendation to the trustees.

Councillor Meed Ward goes after free city hall parking. Wants the tax rules to be applied.

Burlington city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

Marianne Meed Ward, the city Councillor for ward 2 in Burlington has a son at Central high school; she was asked by the Parent Council if she would represent them on the PARC. She said she would which raised both eyebrows and hackles amongst many.

The first recommendation from the Director of Education that the PARC had to deal with was to close both Central high school and Lester B. Pearson high school.

Sometime later the Director revised his recommendation and removed Central high school form the recommendation and added Bateman high school.

The Bateman parents were stunned and they weren’t ready for the fight of their lives – which they eventually lost.

Parents at the three high schools have lived through a horrendous nine months. There was a lot of bitterness at Bateman and Pearson.

MMW typing

Meed Ward at her iPad during a school board meeting.

What few knew was that the Bateman parents had captured Meed Ward communicating with trustee Reynolds during the June 7th meeting. Those parents had a member of their committee who could get them in front of the CHCH news people – they knew a hot story when they saw one.

The Bateman parents have filed complaints against trustee Reynolds and city Councillor Meed Ward accusing them of acting unethically during a meeting to decide the fate of two Burlington schools.

MMW message to Reynolds

Is this a smoking gun? Going to be tough to explain this one.

The Save Bateman Committee say the words of school trustee Leah Reynolds weren’t her own; they claim they could see Burlington city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward typing instructions to Reynolds on her iPad and they have visual evidence to back up their claim.

Lisa Bull shocked

Lisa Bull speaking for the Bateman parents – She is “shocked’!

Lisa Bull, a Bateman parent took a picture where one message said: “don’t vote in favour”. She says she was talking about a motion put forward by another trustee, Amy Collard, to explore a partnership between Robert Bateman and Nelson high school, to save the school and some of its unique programs in skilled trades and special needs.

The chair of the Halton District School Board says receiving emails and texts during a meeting isn’t against the rules but parents say Meed Ward was instructing her on how to block the motion and that Reynolds campaigned on a platform of “no school closures”.

The Save Bateman Committee is also accusing Meed Ward of influencing the decision to pull Central school off the closure list.

CHCH asked Meed Ward for an interview; the normally always available for time on television Meed Ward said she wasn’t available. She sent the TV station a statement saying, “the texts related to procedural matters only and had nothing to do with the content of motions regarding school closures and alternatives…”

Leah Reynolds didn’t respond to the CHCH interview request.

MMW + Leah Reynolds

City Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with Leah Reynolds; Best friends forever.

The Save Bateman Committee wants the Board of Education to put a pause on the final 10-1 vote to close the school and they are asking that trustee Reynolds be suspended.

It will take some time for everyone to figure out just what merit there is in the parent demand to put a hold on the school closing.

What is evident this morning is that this smells.

Asking Meed Ward to produce a copy of every text message or email she sent trustee Reynolds might clear the air a bit.

Some of the copy in this report is from the CHCH newscast.

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65 comments to Bateman parents want an investigation into the coaching they believe city Councillor Meed Ward gave trustee Leah Reynolds during a crucial high school closing vote.

  • Jennifer Beleck

    Another missed point is that Leah Reynolds was on SEAC and was to look after the needs of Special Education students. They needed her and she chose to follow MMW. There needs to be a complete investigation into these trustees and Director!

  • Maggie

    Lisa Bull. If you don’t like Marianne and were uncomfortable sitting behind her why did you choose sit there and not somewhere else. Unless of course you were deliberately spying on her. And to Stephen, you make it sound like she was using a full size laptop and big print.

  • Maggie

    While I think the term stalking is a bit harsh I do think Marianne Mead Ward’s privacy was invaded. Having attended meetings where Marianne was present I have seen the size of her device. It is not large at all. I know there is no way I could have seen what she was writing without deliberately trying to read it. The size of this device gives a reasonable expectation of privacy. She could have been texting anyone about anything. Her husband or a friend perhaps about getting a bite to eat after the meeting. Her son if he needed a ride. Weekend plans. She might have been taking notes. Nobody should have been trying to read her personal correspondence. I would also like to point out that the only way to get a clear picture of her screen from behind would be to zoom in, probably to the max-amine if it was a cell phone.

  • gordon

    a person who controls or influences others in a clever or unscrupulous way.
    synonyms: exploiter, user, maneuverer, conniver, puppet master, wheeler-dealer; informaloperator
    “a ruthless political manipulator”

  • Teri

    Since it’s clear MMW told trustee Reynolds how to vote on June 7th it makes me wonder when else has she told her how to vote and perhaps she also controls how others voted.

  • Phillip

    The most troubling question that remains unanswered in this article: “If this is the kind of political influence being exerted in an open meeting, what was said and done behind closed doors?” It would be naive to conclude that this was the only time political influence was exerted.

  • Almost Canada's Birthday!

    Omg people, the vote was 10 to 1. A trustee being coached on how to handle a motion that wasn’t on the agenda for the night DID NOT affect the outcome of the vote. Ok so if one trustee was influenced, what about the other 9 trustees?
    PLEASE stop blaming only 2 people for this outcome!!!!!

  • Amused resident in Burlington

    Seems that posts that have opposing opinions are being removed or delete.

    Editor’s note: Posts that cannot be verified are trashed. Posts that are less than civil do not get posted. The matter of a Council member appearing to coach a trustee is serious business – as publisher’s we do not want the discussion to get overly emotional – stick to the facts and please – all of you – stop the flame throwing.

  • John

    Maybe we should all stop spending our money in Wards and Reynolds wards. Lots of other areas in Burlington we can spend our hard earned money..Maybe the quiet Mayor would finally say something to his out of line counselor.

  • Mr.Bean

    Imagine there would be no uproar over this if it was Central being voted to close? Not bloody likely! I hope Meedward runs for Mayor so I can vote her closed.

  • Amused resident of Burlington

    I have sat on the side lines watching this whole process and can’t believe the lengths some people go to to justify their behaviour. Bateman parents you do realize your children not to mention the city at large can read all your threats (yes threats) as well as all the the overall misrepresentation of the facts.
    It was a whole new low taking pictures of someone texting someone else. I wonder if we stood behind some of you and took pictures of your texts what we would be exposed to.
    You are not doing yourselves any favours with the tactics you are using as your credibility is diminishing with every unfounded claim.
    If you are interested in saving your school I suggest you get someone with some professionalism and tack to lead this as you are loss support from your own community.

  • Andrew


  • Hank

    Closing bateman was not a good choice. To think that there would be a whole downtown is wrong. City is not just south Burlington. Look at geography. Did you hear that central will cost millions for accessible but will never be that? It gives central a timeline for closing 2025 after taxpayer dollars are spent to make it last til then. And they didn’t give central and aldershot equity those kids didn’t get any help but I guess the students don’t matter as much as a building. Bateman uses more energy cause of what they have. It isn’t going to go away unless the board is taking these programs too. I dont think this was a good choice.

  • Colleen A

    Just because you believe something doesn’t make it fact. Ive also watched this process right from the beginning up to, and including the final meeting…your claim that MMW & Trustee Reynold’s caused Amy’s motion to be voted down is ridiculous. The Board’s lawyer, who’s an EXPERT in parliamentary procedure, didn’t have any issues with what took place during the meeting…and yet apparently, those of you making this accusation think that you know better ??? Sure. You go with that.

    You know, I keep hearing about how hard done by Bateman has been by people “playing dirty” to keep Central open…but the Bateman campaign has also benefitted from having the support of a sitting City Councillor-advocating on social media, his blog, the local newspaper, and even bringing a motion forth at a council meeting- and also the support of a reporter whose contacts & media expertise rivals MMW’s…never mind taking screenshots of private conversations and sharing them with the media, which is as dirty as you can get. So please lose the holier than thou, we’re better than MMW & Trustee Reynolds…you’ve all sunk to a new low…and no, I am not from the Central community.

  • eva

    Can someone please direct me to Millers reasons to remove Central from the elected schools for closure?
    What was the reason to replace it with Bateman?

    • Diane Miller

      He said they presented a good case – i.e. all of the students would have ended up being bused either to Aldershot or Nelson. So a cost factor, etc. His exact words would be in the HDSB minutes of the meetings as that is when he made them. Also, he didn’t want to split cohorts. Cough – Bateman gets segmented out not just to one school but 3.

  • Lisa Bull

    Peter Menet –
    As stalking is a criminal offence I would be very careful with my words. As the person who sat behind Ms Meed Ward I was actually very uncomfortable. Having already had numerous negative interactions with her I found it very unpleasant sitting behind her. I took the picture as I simply could not believe what I was witnessing. You may not like that this was shared but may I suggest that you express your dissatisfaction with her and not others. We simply shared her unprofessional and unethical behaviour. We trust others to make their own judgements about it.

    • Pria

      You eavesdropped a private conversation without consent and then shared it with media. You’re in no position to talk about ethics. Not to mention the slandering thats gone on about the trustees and board staff. The behaviour from both sides, frankly, is embarassing.

      • Steve Atkinson

        Pria, exactly how is a person in public meeting, whipping out a large screen in the midst of a crowd a “private conversation”? Your comments defy explanation. Enjoy the school closures that you support, there will be more to come.

        • Pria

          “Eavesdropping is secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent, as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary.[1] The practice is commonly believed to be unethical.” It was a public HDSB meeting, the conversation ws private – I don’t know how you are getting the two confused. By the way, I think Pearson had quite a strong argument, I thought they could have stayed open, though MMR would have remain way underutilized, so that was the problem there.

    • Steve Atkinson

      I agree Lisa, and thank you for sharing this information. Some people have no shame.

  • Steve

    Regardless of the shenanigans here, Bateman (truly Lord Elgin) fate iu sealed. The land is worth too much, schools have to close because of poor planning, and the people in the east end don’t have as much clout as the downtown core. Not saying I agree. It’s sadly the truth. I was previously a supporter of Ward but given what I’m reading here, I’m thinking she is not the best candidate for mayor.

  • Pria

    Bateman was chosen because it simply made the most sense, all things considered. Since Hayden opened, there are not enough students to justify keeping both Bateman and Nelson open. Closing Central leaves a massive geographic gap in Burlington with permanent and distant bussing forever to either Nelson or Aldershot and those were the problems with it. They will have to build a wing at Nelson but the board already explained that the operational savings of closing Bateman will be many times that cost. They explained equity of opportunity very clearly and that Burlington schools lacked it especially when compared to the rest of Halton whose high schools are 1000+. Those are the reasons the trustees voted how they did. Not because of collusion or any other ridiculous conspiracy theory. They did do what was in the best interests of Burlington and it was actually Amy Collard that was trying to interfere and disrupt this just because Bateman is in her ward. The decisions give most Burlington students access toba full range or programming and opportunities. If there were 50 trustees the vote would have been 49-1 because it was the right decision for Burlington. And before anyone says I’m pro central, I’m not, I live in Alton Village and have no connection to either school or area.

    • Outraged Taxpayer

      That’s the problem, Bateman was not the “right decision”. The oldest buildings; ones that require the most taxpayer money to repair and retro-fit to be brought up to gov’t mandated standards are slated to remain open. Meanwhile a location that is well established, both in state of the art training facilities and success stories from core students and special needs students. Outrageous! Then there is the issue of elected politicians not acting in the best interests of the city or the school board. This is some prime land in the downtown core. Re-development (housing or business) would be a better use of the property than the cost of bringing it up to 2017 standards. Imagine the potential for tax revenue that noses are being turned up to. Sickening

    • Diane Miller

      You mention several factors but ignore many others.
      Personally, I would rather have facts and truth than worry about embarrassment to the city.
      LBP on the ground capacity is 642 (without portables). The 1000 plus at each school is a dream for the board but all studies indicate 600-800 is the preferred range of students. Do some research. Our PARC rep for LBP handed in a binder full of studies.
      MMR is currently at 55% capacity (not at 1000 students). Central and Aldershot both have Gr 7 and Gr 8 students to make up the numbers.
      Bateman is sitting with 750ish students currently. Nelson 1000 plus.
      Hayden is at 130% OVER CAPACITY needing 12 portables to meet the needs and slated to go to 18.
      The move to close LBP immediately throws MMR into 110% over capacity (with LBP students and new builds and FI from Hayden). It does nothing to address the over crowding at Hayden or the reduction in portables that the HDSB claims it wants.
      Bateman and LBP numbers are down because they were depleted. How does a school compete with 7 feeder schools to one high school (Hayden) and the rest share 10 feeder schools? LBP was down to 1.5 feeder schools (their students from Kilbride redirected to Hayden and the new build which was in closer proximity to LBP was given to MMR while the PARC process was on-going with MMR the only choice considered). Bateman has .5 feeder schools. Then one wonders why there are low numbers?
      MMR and Bateman both had special needs dollars invested into them. As a taxpayer I am outraged that my tax dollars go into a school only to close it and then supposedly replicate it at another school to the tune of $12 million dollars (trust me that will not be the ending number…remember the pier?). It will NOT fully replicate Bateman nor the pool which as one member commented per the design resembles more a therapy pool size vs. a pool that is already adjacent to the hospital. I remember the words, “our kids don’t want therapy they want fun” during those outings. Why duplicate/replicate at additional taxpayer dollars what already exists?
      A few of the LBP committee provided to all trustees and the director graphs, plans, numbers of how you could create equitable numbers, satisfy programming, etc. Down to the details of how many feeder schools needed to be changed (boundaries) and how many students would move to satisfy programming. Ignored.
      Even McMahon’s office kept telling me closing schools should be a last resort after exhausting ALL possibilities.
      Amy Collard was the only one doing her job quite frankly. She was speaking up for her schools; providing relevant ideas; getting creative (in their goals); being collaborative (in their goals); the others all went along with the most expensive proposition (Collard question this – again hitting the accountability of their goals). I will never criticize someone for doing their job as you are. She takes it seriously and one could tell she had done her homework by the questions she was asking Miller.
      If you look at the board’s own projections by 2020 they will be at 80% capacity in all schools (with no closures). Then what? So much for that reduce portable goal.
      If they had looked at their own projections Hayden would never have been built as 3 yrs into their 10 year plan (by the way this is a HDSB thing; the ministry only looks at 4 year plans as doesn’t trust data that far out) they were triggering a PAR. Our previous trustee was the only one who was against the Hayden build, going on record to point out they knew there was a current trend to under-utilization and that the Hayden build would escalate that problem. They voted to build anyway.
      Yes, a group of heartless people could have heard all those stories, looked at the data, heard from SEAC that their letter and concerns had not been answered/addressed and still voted as you say 49-1. That STILL does not make the decision a correct one.

      • Diane Miller

        Pria – Sorry, I said hospital…meant by the school.
        As well, the current proposal does nothing to address Aldershot which remains at status quo or the overcrowding at Hayden (minus the FI students). Miller’s response was a monitoring or wait and see. Central’s issues are not corrected. So the PAR was about resolving these issues. It didn’t address them all just got them what they wanted – the shutting down of two schools (do some research why funding wise from the Ministry, it is more attractive for them to shut 2 vs. 1).

    • Tom Muir


      I would like to correct a statement of yours.

      You said; Since Hayden opened, there are not enough students to justify keeping both Bateman and Nelson open.

      This is incorrect. The truth is the following; Since Hayden was PLANNED to be built in 2009, there were not enough students to keep all the other schools open.

      The subsequent deficit of students was a deliberate part of the plan, and this is proven. In this plan. the initial targets to drain students from to Hayden were Bateman and Robinson.

      You got your school through a swindle of the other 6 schools. That’s a fact. I have provided the data proving this right here to the Gazette.

      Editor’s note: Condensed.

  • Sharon

    I hope now that people will realize I am not a psychotic person that imagines things. I said at the beginning of the PARC that Marianne Meed Ward was using her position as a Councillor for the good of Central High School. I truly do believe that there were behind door meetings and June 7th was the final step to make sure Robert Bateman High School closed.
    I also believe that the dual campus vote would have gone through if it hadn’t been immobilized by Marianne Meed Ward and Leah Reynolds.
    I truly hope that Marianne Meed Ward and Leah Reynolds are forced to resign.

  • D.Duck

    It’s rare to find an altruistic and ethical politician of any gender.
    Power corrupts and total power corrupts totally.
    Remember, they work for ‘us’ and only ‘us’ can make them realize this.

  • Steve Atkinson

    I am deeply offended by the actions of these elected officials. In Canada we hold our elected officials to a higher standard, it is understood to be part of the job. If this was a housing development, new bridge, bike lane etc., then we would be annoyed. But these are the people that are entrusted with our children’s education and future academic development. We tell our children that education is the most important thing at their age, and then to see this display of absolute political greed is sickening. We have been lied to from the first meeting in October when I naively thought they were working on our behalf. And now our neighbourhood is devastated, the students are hurting and today I received an email from HDSB about “integrating all stakeholders”. Well, HDSB et al, as a private citizen I reserve the right to never believe a single word uttered by you, your Director or the Trustees.

  • Deb

    The saddest thing of all is that these elected officials were playing politics at the expense of our kids. Shame on them.

  • Jennifer Beleck

    Thank you for listening to this school. The actions taken by the city Councillor Meed Ward and the HDSB Trustee Leah Reynolds was a delaying and obstructive action to consider an alternative motion other than closure. This action so frustrated the other trustees that after 90 minutes of arguments and ruling that the trustees were “FED UP”(actual words of one trustee) and just wanted to”GET IT OVER WITH “. This is not the proper action dor a group of elected officials to take and plotting and trying to stall the process as opposed to constructive discussion to reach an equitable solution for all of Burlington does not exist at the HDSB and we are all losers in this negative environment.
    It seems like many of our elected officials have lost the sense of what is right and what is wrong. It is a sad state of affairs when we can no longer trust these politicians.

  • Brenda

    Grasping at straws here…as someone said the vote was 10-1 nothing is going to change this. The save Bateman group are a bunch of fools and any credibility that they have is going very quickly. But all means keep it up as we all find this very entertaining.

  • Brad

    Shady practices for sure. Apparently Reynolds is so incompetent that she needs her hand held; and Meed-Ward is happy to use Reynolds as a proxy.

    Neither one will ever get another vote of this tax payer.

  • Linda Lord

    The real issue here is that an elected official chose to deny the basic human rights of a specific population of Burlington, the special education students, to an accessible and inclusive education without fear of bullying. That is not something that can be replicated. Attempts to replicate it at a high school in North Burlington have failed as they have yet to graduate a single student in the special ed stream there. Outside of Bateman there are no other provisions for the current special education students to attend pathways programming that will lead to productive adulthood. Robert Bateman High School is the only option for high functioning students with exceptionalities. Bateman is a one of a kind school that has experienced much success and is fully accessible, it is not a mainstream high school and should not have been added at such a late date to the list of possible closures. Bateman is and should have been considered a regional school specializing in vocational training at one end of the spectrum and international students at the other end of the spectrum. Bateman has developed specific programs to integrate both populations from day one to graduation. This is not a decision that will affect a small number of students short term, this decision will have lasting repercussions to an entire population, from the social services that will have added numbers to support as well as the trades that will still be searching to fill jobs because we haven’t allowed our local students to have those training opportunities.

    • Christie Woodruff

      Well said – from what I understand it seems a shame to close such a specialized school.

  • Bernstein

    That’s a really bad look. Whether the communication was happening in real time electronically as it appears to have been, or if it was conducted behind closed doors prior to the meeting, the concern is still the same to me. Elected officials can certainly take input from all sources, including other elected officials from different organizations, but in no way should one elected official be DIRECTING another to do something. Even if there are no rules against it, it doesn’t make it right. Bad look for both of them. Will be interesting to see if each of them goes the apology route or the we did nothing wrong route.

    That said, I agree that these shananigans have next to no impact on the result of the vote itself. They just added fuel to the rage and hurt of those unhappy with the closures.

  • Sharon

    Peter Menet there was considerable confusion because Leah Reynolds was reading emails from MMW that she didn’t understand. That and Kelly Amos has no idea what she is doing as Chair.
    When you catch a thief on camera is that stalking? MMW had no right to coach Leah Reynolds of what to say or how to vote.

    • Peter Menet

      A video of the June 7th meeting is available on the HDSB website. I have reviewed the video and I am satisfied that trustee Reynolds was not the source of the considerable confusion you allege her to have been.
      Also, I was impressed with how Chair Amos dealt with the confusion.
      Someone, with intent, sat behind Mead Ward, read her emails surreptitiously, and has now selectively distributed parts these emails to news outlets in order to impugn the character of both councillor Mead Ward and trustee Reynolds. There is no justification for this behaviour. It was stalking.
      You have every right to assist and advise your councillor and your trustee. That right extends to all persons.

      • Sharon

        Peter Menet
        Yes, you are right you have every right to suggest or ask questions of your Trustee. A City Councillor has no right to tell a School Trustee of what to say during a motion. Marianne Meed Ward was not assisting or advising she was telling Leah Reynolds how to stop a motion of making Bateman and Nelson a dual campus. It is not stalking if the person you are watching is breaking rules/laws. Unless you think cameras in stores, gas stations, banks and even schools is stalking. I suggest you look up the meaning of the word and also look it up in the Canadian Criminal Code.

  • astheworldturns

    just an add on to the vote bartering within City Hall!!!!

  • Mike

    Sour grapes……10 to 1 !!! Give it up people!

    • Diane Miller

      It isn’t about sour grapes. Whether it would have affected the outcome or not the fact that some impropriety potentially occurred needs to be addressed. You had an elected school board trustee, who ran on a platform not to close schools, actually vote to close 2. She also voted down any motion that might see some sort of partnership. Why?

  • Casey


    After reading this, invasion of privacy is where you ‘land’ on this? Really? 🙂

    • Peter Menet

      Yes, i am concerned about privacy.
      It does not matter what position you hold in society you are entitled to privacy in your “communications”.

      • Teri

        You don’t have an expectation of privacy in a public meeting and she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. The privacy of what was on MMW’s screen is a non issue. You are reaching.

  • James

    Wow, just wow. Will be interesting to see what comes of this. Definitely a Ministry review of the PARC process. I definitely believe Trustees were told how to vote or at the very least influenced improperly and voted as a block. How else can you explain a 10-2 decision when Bateman had so much media attention and public pressure.

    The decision to close Bateman and Pearson boiled down to what two schools had the least amount of important alumni, business owners, politicians,that could put political pressure on the Trustees and Director Miller. Those two schools were Bateman and Pearson.

    Let’s also not forget that the liberal Meed-Ward was on the news with PC leader Patrick Brown who then promised a moratorium on school closures. How did this happen? Well former PC MPP Jane McKenna, who was Brown’s fundraising chair for his leadership campaign, who also has two kids who graduated from Central, organized this.

    Never forget whose side those who want our votes were on when it came time to decide which Burlington schools to close. Instead of using their influence to prevent any school from closing or look at the issue objectively with the good of Burlington in mind, they showed their true opportunistic and selfish colours.

  • Casey

    I don’t think anyone needs to see the texts now. No denials from anyone. They all know. To me, Kelly Amos assertion that receiving communications is absurd. Really? It’s common practice to receive ‘instructions’ from the gallery 15 feet away Kelly? Really? At least Ms Meed Ward and Ms Reynolds didn’t deny. If they did, this is a much worse conversation. So, they refused an interview request. That tells us all we need to know. The question now is ‘apart from smelling really bad and embarrassing a couple of people, does the specific REAL TIME ( and this does matter) coaching break any specific rules?

    I still maintain that there are many, many things related to this whole process that smell even worse than this specific incident. Can the public really feel trust now that there weren’t other things happening knowing this?

  • John

    Watching Ward and Reynolds behavior is sickening. The Trustee was elected for her input not Wards thoughts who has a direct interest in the decision. Reynolds was elected on a no school closures platform. I guess Ward should get Reynolds paycheck as she was the puppet master. Such a sad pair they should resign.

    • Andrew

      This is a distraction. Agreed, not a great moment in their careers. Yet this frustration and anger should be re-directed to the board or even ministry. They hold the power. Don’t get pulled into this side noise. It leads no where.

      • David Fenton

        That was my thinking MMW is now to blame for this! No schools should have closed. The whole exercise was disgraceful MMW was just fighting her corner as was everyone else.

  • ockham

    Watching the June 7th meeting online with 550+ other souls, I heard the Board chair say that all the trustees were receiving many emails and texts from their constituents through the meeting. On their Facebook page, the Bateman folks posted that they were also emailing the trustees. I understand why they did so, but then the “official complaint” promotes a double standard: what’s okay for the Bateman lobby, is not okay for anyone else.

    We’re expected to accept the highlighted text actually relates to Collard’s motion just because the PARC rep says that this is so. That’s hardly proof, just public theater. We sat through hours of procedural wrangling and several motions before Collard’s joint campus motion was finally voted on.

    The real story is we have the Bateman PARC representative not only spying on another person’s private correspondence, but also taking a picture of it and then posting it on social media. Her conduct is not only ethically questionable, it opens her up to legal action for violating Ontario tort law concerning the invasion of another’s privacy (it includes private correspondence).

    The self-interested might dismiss these privacy laws, but they exist for a reason. God help us all if fragments of our private correspondence are publicly disseminated for (mis)interpretation – this only leads to greater online abuse and bullying for all of us.

    The Bateman PARC rep’s conduct fits a pattern of bad behaviour exhibited by some of the Save Bateman people including the other Bateman PARC rep who said she would buy the cement to fit on the Director’s feet; or their chief spokesperson who was outed in the Gazette for making false accusations.

    I feel for the many Bateman parents whose case to save their school was undermined by the behaviour of a few bad apples. Their ineffective, but hard-hitting tactics to get their pound of flesh alienated just about everyone else and likely contributed to the lopsided 10 to 1 vote to close their school.

    Self-righteous indignation blinds them from seeing how reprehensible their own actions are.

    • John

      Yes put your head in the sand and pretend it was all good. Congratulations on closing Burlington schools…

  • Pria

    Isn’t this eavesdopping? Both sides need to quit it. The vote was 10-1. This finger pointing is embarrassing the city.

    • Teri

      What’s embarrassing is a city Councillor instructing a school board trustee on how to vote and what to say.
      They both should resign.

  • George

    I smell sedition and treachery!

  • Peter Menet

    So now we enter the conspiracy phase of the PAR process.
    People are forgetting that he vote was 10 to 1 to close Bateman.
    Go ahead, remove Reynolds vote from the total. The vote would still be 9 to 1 to close Bateman.
    I was at the June 7th board meeting. There was considerable confusion around the motions put forward by trustee Collard. The board’s lawyer and a parliamentarian were present and were asked several times to clarify what trustees were voting for. There was considerable confusion about what a yes vote meant and what a no vote meant. I suspect that what Mead Ward was doing was providing Reynolds with additional clarification. I also suspect that there were many other people, in the audience and at home, contacting their trustees during the evening as Chair Amos discussed.
    And speaking of ethics, you refer in your article that Bateman parents had captured Mead Ward communicating with Leah Reynolds. Someone stalked Mead Ward and sat behind her and then deliberately took a picture, I assume using a cellphone, of a private communication. That to me is the equivalent of reading someones private mail. It is an invasion of privacy.

    • LBP Alumni

      Attending the June 7th meeting would suggest you’ve been observing this process from the beginning. I guess you haven’t noticed collusion from the beginning then??

      This is just one indication of how HDSB hasn’t followed their own procedures on the PAR. It destroys the legitimacy of the trustees’ votes, as well as your point on the 9v1 vote.

      • Peter Menet

        Yes, I attended six of the seven PARC meetings and no, I did not notice any collusion by any of the fourteen PARC members. There were several times, for example during the DOTMOCRACY process, where PARC members representing different schools could be seen having private conversations. Were they colluding? Unfortunately, collusion is in the eye of the beholder.
        As for following the PAR process it was very clear to me that staff of the HDSB were very careful and concerned that they followed the PAR process and that they be seen to be following the PAR process.
        The trustees vote may not be what you want, but it is legitimate. Please remember that the board’s lawyer was present and he has a duty to his client, the board, to ensure that they do not do anything improper.

        • LBP Alumni

          Quite likely in your example of the PARC members…but what does that have to do with elected officials who voted for a process, the PAR, mandated by the ministry to work with stakeholders?? The PARC members need not be held to the same standard…they don’t have the responsibility!

          The Director created his vision of what the district’s school board needs to be (their mandate is NOT to shut schools!!) and these trustees have fallen in line…well, except for Amy Collard. The rest did little to actually work with the community to come up with a solution. In the case of Pearson, the PAR was used rid the board of the community’s school. Lots of great solutions presented but never was there an intention to listen…how do you defend the school board on this point Peter Menet???

          I can only surmise that you haven’t paid enough attention or haven’t gone through the board’s procedures on the PAR process if you believe they were following it properly. There’s lots to be challenged on that.

          • Phillip

            How many of the school trustees understand what their mandate is? In theory, they are elected to represent their communities–parents and students and give direction to the director of education. In practice in Halton, these trustees, with the exception of Amy Collard, did the bidding of the director of education and acted on his instructions. In particular, the Chair of the Board clearly looked to the Director, Miller
            (a career educrat) to get direction. To this end, they ALL, save Collard, need replacing in the next election.