Legion wants parents to know about the programs they offer - they fear teachers won't do that job this year.

opinionandcommentBy Pepper Parr (43164-H)

October 25, 2015


There are these things we call unintended consequences or we say “I didn’t see that coming.”

The Legion sent us a note yesterday asking if we would publish a letter on their behalf.

Let’s let them make their point before commenting on it:

As noted in recent news, Ontario’s public elementary school teachers are preparing to ramp up their work-to-rule campaign and could begin rotating, one-day strikes this month.

Legion - war memorial

Heroic – most of those who fought volunteered.

The Royal Canadian Legion Zone B6 incorporating Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Waterdown, Dundas and part of Ancaster is concerned that this may impact student’s awareness of our annual Remembrance Poster and Literary Contests. It is through school contact that the appropriate information is circulated for teachers to implement this worthy program. The Royal Canadian Legion encourages the continuation of the tradition of honouring and remembering our military heritage through this annual contest.

These contests are popular with our students and we have had contestants go on from competing at the Branch level to compete at the Zone, District, Provincial and National (Dominion) levels. Contestants are challenged to exercise their initiative and create posters, essays and poems that honour the theme of REMEMBRANCE.

Legion - chest with medals

War time experience is life time experience – the price these men and women paid is far greater than you can even imagine.

We want to ensure parents and students that the contests are scheduled as usual. If children do not receive information from their school, we ask that you please visit www.legion.ca/contest for a registration form, rules and regulations. (Click here to get to the web site) All entries can be submitted to the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local branch.

We look forward to another successful year with our Remembrance contests.

Jackie Ralston, Youth and Education Chair, Royal Canadian Legion, Zone B6

The whole purpose of the educational system is to teach and educate our youth for the work they will do in their future and pass on some of our core values and to enrich the lives of the young people who will lead at some point.

The teachers, I am sure, have genuine concerns but I’m not quite sure what those concerns are. As publishes we get flooded with material from the provincial government – we loved the one about the province passing on millions to the teachers’ association to cover their costs while they negotiated with the province. Receipts weren’t needed eh!

We have yet to see as much as a word from the various teachers’ associations on just what it is they are unhappy about. As publishers we know how hard most teaches work – they deserve to be fairly paid. The public also deserves to hear the teacher’s side of the story.

The Legion has given us theirs.

What is that number after my name – those who served will know.

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2 comments to Legion wants parents to know about the programs they offer – they fear teachers won’t do that job this year.

  • Peter Rusin

    Keep the Legion involved as a relevant entity. Support the Legion.

  • tenni

    This is an unfortunate situation. I wonder what other strategies beyond contacting the Gazette are planned?

    Does the Legion not have personal relationships with any teachers that a quiet discussion may happen? To me, the legion finding itself in an awkward situation in providing clearly a very important connection with youth and veterans is regrettable.

    In this day and age, the use of the internet including Facebook may be a good direction. Youth and the social media are connected perhaps stronger than the teachers? I see that the Burlington legion clubhouse has a Facebook account. I don’t see a twitter or Facebook iistings for this contests. I see a man with guitars on this Facebook page but no reference to these contests or event pages? I definitely see photos of the involvement of children on the Burlington Legion clubhouse page.

    The writer indicates that he/she is ignorant of the causes of the teacher actions. What has he done to find out? Perhaps he doesn’t want to take sides in the labour dispute.

    This indicates to me all the “extras” that teachers do. Educating about a poster contest and poem contest is not in the Education Act or curriculum(I guess). Teachers give a lot beyond the official responsibilities.

    I think that getting students to understand the contributions that the veterans make is important. Clearly, the legion has been very dependent on teachers to “educate” students enough so that the students will respond to these contests. I didn’t look carefully but are the “prizes” of a nature that they will draw students to submit? In 2015, are poster contests relevant and can stand alone without teachers support?

    I wish the legion well. I do wonder if more contemporary media (video, photography etc.) may encourage participation. It may be time to review the strategies that the legion uses.

    As far as the Gazette receiving media releases about the conflict, I wonder if that is negotiating in bad faith? This is a complex and difficult to comprehend for most citizens. Hopefully, it will be resolved. I have heard that some primary teachers spend up to a thousand dollars out of their own salary to provide materials for their students.