IN THE BEGINNING...
Superintendent Ed Carlin was the youngest Superintendent in the province when he was appointed in the 1970's and made some wondrous appointments until his own removal from the education scene the year after my lay-off.
One of those appointments as Principal was Jim Carter who went on to become the Deputy Minister of Education at the time of the creation of Bill 35. Carter was no stranger to controversy himself when he made a highly controversial firing of a senior teacher for so-called incompetence in 1978. ( The teacher, Ken Raison, had earlier successfully sued Carter for docking him a day's pay over a dispute relating to the nature of professional day.)
mother's observation :'Come now, it's off to school, there are some things you're too young to witness.'
Teacher didn't fit - by Tony Eberts
West Vancouver teacher Kenneth Raison has lost his appeal against dismissal by the district school board after a months-long hearing that cost about $90,000.
The three-man comission rejected the appeal in a two-to-one vote, indicating that the decision to destroy a man's career was not taken lightly. (Not so as the tie breaking vote is a candiate selected by the government who is always expected to support the district-RWC).
In the view of this observer who sat in on some of the sessions, Raison, 54, should not have been fired in the first place.
He was not fired, surely, because he shaved and even - how awful - reportedly gargled within range of the delicate sensibilities of his senior secondary class.
There was no convincing evidence that he was anything but a dedicated, experienced teacher who was respected by his peers and whose long teaching record (before his West Vancouver troubles began two or three years ago) was impeccable.
It seems possible, in fact, that the main reason for his dismissal, and for the long campaign of "inspections" and gathering information about him, was simply that he did not fit the grey, low-profile image expected of him.
Raison, it became clear, is the frank and outspoken type of man who often upset school and school district routine by sending obstreperous students to the principal's office and by openly criticizing some policy matters.
Some of the school district officials who testified against Raison and who passed judgment on his teaching methods seemed, in my view, poorly equipped to do so.
At least one could lay claim to only a couple of years of teaching at the elementary school level - and he was criticizing a man with a couple of decades of teaching in high schools.
One of Raison's colleagues, a veteran teacher of painstaking frankness, summed up both Raison's faults and his strengths and concluded that the B.C. education system would be poorer if the dismissal were upheld.
For a system that is graduating a shamefully high percentage of near-illiterates, it is a loss that should not have been incurred.
As an individual and the father of three teenaged children, I don't give a damn if a teacher shaves, gargles or even bathes in front of a class as long as he takes an interest in teaching young people to read and write and think for themselves.
To give one an idea how big this scam is, I submit Carter could ill-afford a second high-profile dismissal in West Vancouver, the smallest School District in the province. Further, he could not use the traditional route as was used with Raison because he was sitting with my evidence of Principal John Williams dishonesty regarding his professional report on my teaching capabilities. So inside of 3 months, the Bill 35 fiasco, the 'battle of all teachers' according to the BCTF was gerrymandered through the Provincial legislature with its infamous current demonstrated ability clause which remains undefined in the statute or in law in general. Long meetings were conducted with the Board of School Trustees in West Vancouver. You can be sure they would not have authorized the lay-off if they were to take the stand and perjure themselves; a feature which could not have occurred without the compliance of the Union behind Callow's back. Justice Southin's quashing of the arbitration, which happened as a consequence of Callow catching the Union off-guard through a last-minute change of legal Counsel, was designed more, I submit, to bury the perjury of the Superintendent then to any other single cause. The Appeal Court's private directive to respective legal Counsel to 'settle the matter out of court' was designed to take the Canadian Justice System and the B.C. Legislature off the hook; a step which could only be accomplished by selling the local Union down the river as they could then be subjected to a suit brought against them by Callow, so they refused to sign any settlement. By doing nothing, considering that Justice Southin never placed Callow back on salary, there are no time restraints on either the Union or School Board to act, an unconscionable decision by many justices (up to 30). The latest appeal is on the grounds that the Union has abandoned the case therefore all authority (I believe that according to the laws, I have such authority anyway), should be directed to me to pursue a finalization. This latest appeal before the iniquitous B.C. Labour Board has been delayed for 14 months ( the 5th appeal before them asking for a full hearing) with no response.
As a footnote, it is amazing what contumely people like Carter had for the press as well ( Vancouver Sun) , for not only was the legislature hijacked for a single case, the justice system of Canada has been effectively suborned in the intervening 17 years on this accord, and not a peep out of the anti-employee Canadian media! The 'smoking gun' of teacher lay-off numbers exist on the court record, but I have no forum to present them for a finalization of this sorry tale and now one which eclipses such as the infamous Scope's 1925 Tennessee 'Monkey Trial'.