By Alex Rinfret–A Sandspit group collected 190 signatures in just a couple of hours Monday morning (June 20) on a petition opposing the school board’s proposed new trustee model.
The group faxed the petition to Education Minister Shirley Bond Monday afternoon, asking her to intervene and make sure that Sandspit residents continue to elect their own trustee to the islands’ school board.
Carol Wagner, a member of the Moresby Island Stability Initiative- the group which organized the petition -said only one person they approached refused to sign it, and he was not from the islands.
Ms Wagner said the school board’s proposal, which will reduce the number of trustees to five from seven, and combine Sandspit with Queen Charlotte to elect a single trustee for both communities, is “totally wrong”.
She also said Sandspit residents were upset by the school board’s response to their concerns at a public meeting last week in Queen Charlotte.
The Moresby Island Stability Initiative has not yet spoken to anyone in the provincial government about their concerns, Ms Wagner said, although the group was going to meet Monday night to talk about their next steps.
Ms Wagner said she and other Sandspit residents have no problem with the idea of increasing Haida representation on the board. If Sandspit cannot have its own trustee, they want Sandspit to be able to choose which community it will be combined with (they would prefer to be matched up with a smaller population than Queen Charlotte – for example Skidegate).
Ms Wagner added that Sandspit residents are not the only ones who don’t like the proposed model. Several Queen Charlotte and Tlell residents signed the petition, she said, saying they are also unhappy with the school board decision.
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