Elementary teachers' boycott of The Record sparks letter to Education Minister Liz Sandals
Kitchener Conestoga MPP Michael Harris has asked Minister Liz Sandals to intervene
Kitchener-Conestoga Progressive Conservative MPP Michael Harris has written a letter to provincial Education Minister Liz Sandals asking her to intervene in an elementary teachers' call to boycott the local newspaper, The Waterloo Region Record.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario's local chapter says Record columnist Luisa D'Amato pushes "anti-teacher rhetoric" in her columns for the paper.
Local union representatives voted to boycott the The Record on January 21.
Fed Reps vote to boycott the KW Record due to Luisa D'Amato's anti-teacher rhetoric. Unsubscribe. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ETFO?src=hash">#ETFO</a> <a href="https://t.co/siVrjm0wMq">pic.twitter.com/siVrjm0wMq</a>—@ETFOWaterloo
The local ETFO chapter is asking member teachers to cancel their subscriptions to the paper, as well as boycott the Newspaper in Education (NIE) program for the 2016-2017 school year, or to encourage school administrators not to renew the program. The NIE program uses newspapers in class to teach reading, writing, spelling and critical thinking.
Harris, in his letter to Sandals, writes "for a union to direct its members to intervene in an established program where students can learn about local issues and local reporting, and further attempt to dictate what media they should source, is both inappropriate and unacceptable."
"I'm further concerned about the message the boycott-call sends to students – in essence telling them if they don't like the message to use their weight to bully the messenger," he wrote.
Harris copied Greg Weiler, the president of the local ETFO chapter, and Sam Hammond, the president of ETFO, on the letter.