Want to read how trustee hopefuls in other wards responded to our school-themed scenarios? Click here.

You suddenly find yourself back in grade school. You have all of your grown-up life experience, but you’re moving around the school in a young person’s body. You’re in Grade 1 and Halloween is fast approaching. Which costume do you wear to school and why? 

Public school board candidate

Patricia Bolger: A witch because I loved the story Miss Nelson is Missing.

Lisa Davis: Wonder Woman.  The lasso of truth would be very helpful!  Plus I have always wanted to fly an invisible plane.  (For those who have only seen the recent movie – the original Wonder Woman had many talents!)

Separate school board candidate

Kenneth Doll: A costume that the grade one student dreamed up created. Rather than a store bought costume, I would want I create my own with my own that challenges me creatively and expresses my desire to put my best effort forward.

Pamela Rath: Wonder Woman. Here is why…She is strong, confident and knows what she wants. She has a heart of gold and spends her life fighting for the underdog. She believes she can make a difference in her world and her driving force is her family who is expecting her to be great.

How time flies. You’re in Grade 9. Your teacher is insisting you vote for which school club to cut because there’s a shortage of teachers to run the clubs. Which one gets the thumbs down? Explain your decision, please.

Public school board candidate

Patricia Bolger: Chess club, I don’t play much chess!

Lisa Davis: AV club. None, actually. I would ask one of the other teachers if we could have 2 clubs at the same time as the one they are supervising and if they would do both at the same time.  Or, I would ask if bringing in a volunteer to help would enable one of the teachers to take on 2 clubs.  Clubs are a great way for students to build friendships, develop leadership skills, and contribute to a student’s sense of belonging at school.  Every effort should be made to encourage that.

Separate school board candidate

Kenneth Doll: Gay straight alliance club. Because this is an exclusive club that only few will belong too. Any student could belong to any of the other clubs, as the other clubs are open to all and offer opportunities for ALL students.

Pamela Rath: Chess club. Chess is easy to do outside of school and with very little supervision. Kids who love chess are smart enough to find a way to play no matter what the circumstances.

You’re in high school. You realize that one of your friends has been bullying another student because of his sexual orientation. You go to a teacher about the need to start a Gay Straight Alliance club, but her reception is lukewarm. You can tell she’s not going to help. How are you going to make this happen?

Public school board candidate

Patricia Bolger: I would approach another teacher who might be more receptive to the idea and perhaps bring my friend along.  He could help explain the challenges he is facing and the benefits of having a GSA club at school.  Next step, gather some more friends and supporters and press the issue further with the school principal.

Lisa Davis: Bullying is a serious issue. First I would speak to my ‘friend’ and advise their bullying was a deal-breaker in our friendship, as we all have a responsibility to speak up if we know of bullying.  Many of us remember the devastating effects of bullying in our youth.  I would ask another teacher or principal for support to start a GSA.  Students Count team has proposed an independent ombudsman to handle unresolved complaints about bullying as we know how important this issue is for student wellness.

Separate school board candidate

Kenneth Doll: Students need to know that hey can do things on their own. If something is important to them, they have ability to take a leadership role make things happen. It’s part of learning to be a contributing member of the community and of society.

Pamela Rath: I would go to the staff member and remind her that every student deserves a safe and comfortable place to hang their hat, regardless of sexual orientation. I would suggest she find us a room, a sponsor teacher, and help us choose a name for our club that exudes acceptance and inclusion for all.

It is nearing the end of the tenth grade and marijuana has been legalized for a little over a month. You and a few other students learn that a teacher smokes a lot of cannabis at home. Do you think she should be held to a different standard when it comes to her recreation? 

Public school board candidate

Patricia Bolger: Well, unfortunately this is a situation that we will likely be faced with in the near future.  If the activity is legal and taking place in the teacher’s home it would seem unlikely that s/he could be held accountable to a different standard.  However, in my personal opinion I would like them to be.

Lisa Davis: We trust teachers to be responsible and this is no different.  As with alcohol, this would only be an issue if there was behavior that affected students.

Separate school board candidate

Kenneth Doll: As private citizens, teacher have every right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home as long as what they are doing is not illegal and as long as they are not hurting anyone. Outside of the privacy of their own home, teachers have influence over students and should conduct themselves in a manner that respects the influence they have on students.

Pamela Rath: The Canadian government legalized the use of recreational marijuana to align it with the laws consistent with the consumption of alcohol. I would expect a teacher, as a professional and an educator to govern herself accordingly with respect to both alcohol and marijuana use. I wouldn’t want her coming into my school smelling of alcohol or marijuana.

 All responses have been edited for typos, but not for spelling or syntax.

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