Cape Breton board looks for new way to get rid of old books
School board reconsiders book disposal after Skylar Gardner, Grade 12 student, speaks out
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is looking for alternate ways to get rid of unwanted books after a student at Memorial High School in Sydney Mines complained about the current practice of throwing them out.
Susan Kelley, the director of programs and student services with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, said staff are looking at what happens to unwanted books at all its schools and whether there's someone who may want them.
"The recycling has stopped and we will get some conversations to find out how many books we might have and what the next step might be," she told CBC News.
"We're hoping there are other options out there that we haven't thought of."
Skylar Gardner, the Grade 12 student at Memorial High School who spoke up about the disposal of the books, already has some suggestions, including donating them to community groups, hospitals or Third World countries.
She told CBC News she's happy she spoke up.
"I was beyond happy that my actions turned into dialogue and I took a chance with voicing my opinion — it could have went either way — but the end result turned out pretty positive and I'm really happy with it," Gardner said Tuesday.
"I feel great, I feel awesome, I feel motivated to keep on going with real topics and genuine topics that need to be discussed and not pushed underneath the rug."
The publicity generated by Gardner prompted the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board to re-examine its practices.
"There's no policy. We have a policy on what we do with old equipment and those types of things but books aren't part of that policy," said Kelley.
"I think if we find there's a need and we find there are folk who would welcome them and would ship them, then we'll set up some practices to go along with that."
Kelley said she doesn't know how many books the board disposes of each year.
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board is getting in touch with individual schools to get those numbers and to get suggestions on alternatives to disposal. Kelley said the board will also find out what other school boards in the province do with their old books and books that have fallen out of use.