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Coast Mountain school trustee punished for breaching confidentiality

Can only attend board meetings electronically
Coast Mountains School District 82 Thornhill trustee Mike Maxim breached confidentiality, the board says. (File photo)

Coast Mountains school district Thornhill trustee Mike Maxim is being punished for what the district says is breaching the confidentiality of closed-door meetings.

The incidents happened this fall, the board said in a Nov. 2 release. It provided no other details.

Maxim can’t participate in school district committee meetings or in-camera board meetings, cannot attend board meetings in person and must do so virtually and if he participates in provincial meetings, must do so at his own expense.

The measures will remain in place until next June, the end of the 2023-2024 school year.

Maxim was the only candidate for the Thornhill seat in last year’s school district elections and was awarded the seat by acclamation.

Maxim first raised eyebrows in school district administrative and board circles when he circulated two petitions in early summer.

One petition was to be signed for those who Maxim said believed trustees should communicate with students, parents and others while the second petition is for those who Maxim said believe trustees should not communicate with students, parents and others.

“I find that different people might have different opinions about how a trustee should behave,” Maxim stated at the time. “Everybody deserves to have their opinion heard.”

While Maxim declined to divulge the events that inspired him to start the petitions, he emphasized the importance of dialogue and discouraged the silencing of differing viewpoints.

“I believe that the public dialogue with the education system should be strengthened,” Maxim affirmed, adding, “And these petitions are a start to understanding what those involved think the responsibilities of a trustee are.”