New Brunswick

Teachers' union says 'positive learning environment' compromised

The New Brunswick Teachers' Association says it has sent a letter to Education Minister Serge Rousselle asking for an immediate review of the government's inclusion policy.

The New Brunswick Teachers' Association wants an immediate review of the province's inclusion policy

The New Brunswick Teachers' Association is calling on the education minister to review the province's inclusion policy. (iStock)

The New Brunswick Teachers' Association says it has sent a letter to Education Minister Serge Rousselle asking for an immediate review of the government's inclusion policy.

Guy Arseneault, the NBTA president, said in a statement posted on Facebook that although teachers support inclusion, "issues such as a lack of clarity, inconsistent application and conflict with other policies make it increasingly difficult to meet the collective needs of ALL students."
Guy Arseneault, president of the NBTA, has been posting statements about inclusion on the NBTA Facebook page. (NBTA)

Arseneault said Policy 322, which sets out the guidelines for inclusion in all New Brunswick schools, is in conflict with the positive learning and working environment or Policy 703.

He said the positive learning environment is being compromised because of disruptions in the classroom.

In a statement to CBC News, the education minister said the government is committed to ensuring that each student receives an education "that meets his or her needs."

"We have received the NBTA's letter regarding inclusive education and a response to the union will be provided in the near future," Rousselle said.

This is not the first time the New Brunswick Teachers Association has raised this issue.

In 2013, then-outgoing president Heather Smith said the focus on inclusion in the classroom was preventing the education system from meeting the needs of all students.

Education Minister Serge Rouselle says he will respond to the letter from the NBTA 'in the near future.' (CBC)
"Often it's behaviours of students that are affecting the learning of other students and the working environment of all those in the school," she said.

"And when you have a few students that have severe behaviour issues, that can really disrupt the school environment and the learning of others."

Smith said the education system was underfunded and there weren't enough resources for inclusion to be successful.

Arseneault has been posting a statement a day on Facebook since Monday. Wednesday's post echoes Smith's comments.

"Resources to support inclusion have been woefully inadequate for decades," he said.

When the inclusion guidelines were introduced, he said, "millions of dollars were mandated" for implementation.

"However, no 'new money' was added to the system, resulting in cuts to existing services, programs and options for all students. This cannot continue!," said Arseneault.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?