From banned to elected: Anita Gibson says there's 'a lot of work to do' at Rainbow District School Board
Gibson and husband were slapped with no trespass order after 'lightly heated conversation' with trustee
It's been quite a journey for Anita Gibson, one of three new trustees at the Rainbow District School Board.
In October, she was elected to the Area 2 post for the English public school board covering Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin.
Up until September, Gibson and her husband Dylan had been banned from attending Rainbow high schools and the board office, an order that been in place since 2012.
Gibson said they were never given an explanation of the reasons for the ban, but now says she wants to put the problems behind them, and focus on students and their public education.
"From my point of view, there was a minor disagreement, maybe a lightly heated conversation with a trustee after a meeting," Gibson said. "Instead of dealing with the situation and looking at it through an informal procedure, for reasons unknown, they decided to not follow procedure and go straight to the punishment."
The punishment for Gibson was "no trespass order" on her and her husband, preventing her from attending any meetings at Rainbow District School Board properties.
The CBC reported in December 2016 that then-trustee Tyler Campbell and the Gibsons were at the centre of a verbal confrontation in a stairwell after a board meeting.
Gibson said she learned a lot about the system while fighting to have the ban lifted, lessons that will serve her well in her role as trustee.
But she also said she rejects the idea that she has a score to settle with the people who once banned her.
"I definitely would not call it a vendetta," Gibson said. It's probably a misconception that I want to make a huge change overnight."
"I think the work is done at committee, motion by motion, conversation by conversation. I do have some issues important to me about physical literacy and math," she added.
"And I think there's a lot we can do as a local school board to see if we're really supporting students, their physical, academic and mental health."
You can hear the full interview with Anita Gibson by clicking the audio link below.