Miscouche parent's group reaching new levels of frustration

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Opposition Leader Steven Myers, centre right, and education critic James Aylward met with a group of parents from Miscouche Consolidated school Thursday. They discussed various ongoing issues the parents say they've had with the school's leadership. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer

WELLINGTON – An obviously frustrated group of parents met with the Opposition caucus Thursday night in Wellington.

The group, which calls itself the Miscouche Concerned Parents Group', had gathered to discuss their ongoing dissatisfaction with the administration at Miscouche Consolidated school.

There was talk of picketing province house, letter writing campaigns, putting up lawn signs, starting public petitions and other ways to put pressure on government to do something about the situation.

Perhaps the most indicative indication of their anger came when a show of hands was asked for. Nearly every parent in the room, about 25 people, indicated that they would consider pulling their children out of the school rather than let them attend there next year. Some said they'd already done so or intended to do so.

It's a sad state of affairs when parents have to go to that option, said Leon Perry, one of the group's spokespeople.

These people have been dealing with the situation through school and school board channels for years, said Perry, but they've been unable to resolve it.

“We're trying to keep everything respectful – but I mean that level of respect is going to start to diminish here ones these levels of frustrations start getting a little higher,” said Perry.

Most of the parent's concerns revolved around incidences where cases of bullying or other types of confrontation weren't resolved in ways they found appropriate, or where there was a lack of leadership shown. The situations they described were wide-ranging in severity.

The group's concerns where first brought to public attention by the Opposition earlier this month in the Legislature.

Since then, Opposition Leader Steven Myers and education critic James Aylward said they wanted to meet with as many of the parents as possible hear their grievances firsthand.

They listened for two hours Thursday evening and advised the parents to stay united, be respectful in whatever avenue they take to pursue their goal – but to keep up pressure on government.

Aylward said he was surprised by many of the situations recounted by these parents and that some of them have had problems for nearly four years without resolution to their satisfaction.

“Obviously there's a major issue in their school and they want it dealt with,” he said.

“It's unfortunate that we have a minister that just seems to want to run and hide from it and not take responsibility and show leadership.”

When the issue was being debated in the legislature, Education Minister Alan McIsaac said he was aware of the parents' grievances, but said they had to be dealt with via the proper channels.

“This is an issue that has to be handled very properly, there are accusations made, we don’t know whether they are true or not,” said McIsaac at the time.

“We have to go through proper procedures, proper protocols. It’s not a witch hunt or anything, we have to look at the facts before we finalize the whole issue.”

The parents said Thursday night that they want a meeting with McIsaac to discuss their plight; something the minister has so far refused to do.

Perry said, the English Language School Board has also refused to meet with the parents as a group, telling them instead that they will only meet with them individually to discuss specific cases.

The parent's group represents about 50 families, so the school board would be facing the prospect of having that many meetings. That's something the parents say they refuse to do.

“We want one meeting to deal with the whole thing. This business of having 25 or 30 meetings does not make any sense. They know the situations, they have the letters, they have the reports, they have all the information they need,” said Perry.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

@JournalPMacLean

Organizations: Miscouche Concerned Parents Group, Miscouche Consolidated school, English Language School Board

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Recent comments

  • Sophie McNeill
    May 31, 2014 - 10:57

    Good luck parents, bullying is serious stuff!

  • billy
    May 31, 2014 - 09:24

    People are so emotional when it comes to their own child.This article smacks off witch hunting and all comments in regards to "our children and grand children" shows the subjectivity of all involved. Don't forget you get more with honey than you do with vinegar.Plus Myers there is the kiss of death people and you were all owned..........wow.

    • Lynn
      June 09, 2014 - 18:18

      I would agree it may be a witch hunt if it were 5-10 parents involved.....with OVER 50% of parents involved I would say it is not a witch hunt, but a serious matter that needs to be taken care of immediately. You may get more with honey than you do with vinegar, but after 4 years I would say the honey pot has run dry. This matter has been going on for 4 years, how long do you suggest they sit and wait for this matter to be taken seriously????

  • Stalling
    May 31, 2014 - 06:56

    the school board is stalling the parents until the end of the year, thinking many of these kids will move on and over the summer they'll forget about the whole thing. Hopefully they'll quietly move both the principal and vice principal and start to rebuild the damage they've done by their inaction. By doing this the school board won't have to admit to any mistake and won't have a teachers federation union fight on their hands.

  • Olivia
    May 30, 2014 - 23:23

    This sounds like cranky parents over stepping to get their own way. Everyone knows that community rallies together because of the peer pressure placed by their neighbors. This sounds like bratty kids are allowed to act recklessly at home and parents don't like when the behavior is being corrected appropriately at school. Parents are really out of touch with reality today and here is a prime example of extremism. Since when did having a child make a person an expert on education? Why are people wasting money on education degrees when it seems like as soon as you produce a child, you are become expert?

  • Mikayla
    May 30, 2014 - 14:20

    I think it is absolutely ridiculous! I've went to this school for 9 years, 9 years! 4 or 5 years ago I would have never thought that Miscouche School would've ended up the way it is, as of now. The bullying is utterly ridiculous, we've had people getting physically abused and nothing was done. We've had students threaten students with 'Weapons' ...That student got 'talked to' nothing else. Also our girls basketball team made PEI Provincials in Souris and were told 'We had to have our own drives individually, that there would be no bus to take us, unless the boys made it too'. How is that fair? There has been numerous times that the secretary would leave for lunch, and that is when the Principal is suppose to go out to make sure 'random' people don't just wander in, But guess what! Our office was left unattended for almost an hour, a lot of stuff could've happened in that hour, just by not having anyone in the main office. The Principal has not gave money to our library in years, so we have no new library books. We had no science fair this year, because the Miscouche Principal cancelled it, and when there were so many complaints he finally said , fine you can have one. That was a week before the judges would come view it. Who can do a science project in a week. I personally think this school has been let down and gone down hill since Scott McDonald took over the role of 'Principal'... I attend Miscouche School, as a grade nine student. I do not care that my name is out there and anyone can see it; Because I am not the only student that feels the way I feel, and this is a SERIOUS problem that NEEDS to be addressed. I have a younger sibling that goes to that school, and another younger sibling that is SUPPOSE to be going to that school in a few years. It really frustrates me that things have gotten so out of hand and Education Minister Alan McIssac is pushing the parents away, what do you want Mr. Education Minister? Would you like us students to come in and talk to you, or start our own petition ?

  • supporter
    May 30, 2014 - 13:28

    I fully support this group of parents. I know for a fact that this principle was not well liked at the school he was previously at by students for sure and I am sure by parents as well. A number of people involved with his previous school was pleased to hear he was changing schools (sorry Miscouche school).

  • Joe Smith
    May 30, 2014 - 13:20

    So you mean you can say what you want about someone and you have to answer for your comments? Give me a break! If the parents don't want the interview one on one, they cannot be that concerned or they are jumping on the bandwagon. This whole situation is nothing but a case of group slander in my opinion

  • Parent of the past
    May 30, 2014 - 13:05

    Just pull the kids out... That's what i done and now they are in a new school and finally happy in life. Their education is whats best and all this bullying DOES hurt education wise. I've seen and still do see huge differences in my children since I've pulled them out of miscouche and their education is back on track, in fact... it's above and beyond what I expected... I could never imagine that as a parent, I would have had to resort in pulling my children out of a school that was so harmful to their educational developments!! Again, things are going extremely well now and I'm thankful I done what was best for my kids!! Hope the parents of miscouche do not have to go through what I went through, however, it can be solved if you give the right nudge!!

  • shoe on the other foot
    May 30, 2014 - 10:20

    @at when a majority of employees have a problem with their boss they would go higher up within the company and it would be dealt with. Not brushed under a rug. That's neither here nor there being as the subject are children and their right to a proper education. If this was your child and your school then and then only would I expect you to understand and make a statement in regards to what is happening. The article does not pinpoint the exact issues, you're right. Quite frankly it's none of your business. The school board, minister of education and every other person that needs to know what is going on does know. Yet, they still refuse to do anything about it. As a parent of a child I believe that we as parents no matter what school our children go to need to stand together in times like these.

  • d
    May 30, 2014 - 10:15

    I was not in that group of concerned parents but my child was told that her gym clothes were thrown out at school I confronted the principle he called my daughter a lier and we do have a lost and found so then I went to the school and said wheres the lost and found in which the secretary who os now not there replied we dont have one and before we throw the stuff out we ask everyone who does it belong too so whos lieing?....then one day I called the school and said my kids are going to this location after school and not home because no one is home I called once then had to go pick up one of the kids and I then told the secretary that they are to go to this destination after school still because no one will be home and both times was told we will make sure they go to this destination so then to come find out my kids were sent home and not the the destination they were suppose to go my kids are not old enough to be home alone but were sent there anyway I confronted the principle which he said well you should have told the kids this morning... I said I told u u were supose to be the ones to tell them I told u guys twice he didnt want to admit they were wrong instead I was being blamed for not telling the kids and they were blaming me and didnt even want to say we will make sure it never happen again he turned it around on me (my problem is not with the secretary because the one who did that is gone but the principle who would rather argue then fix the problem) also in a news letter it stated that you are to come inside to sign your kids out if u are picking them up I called the school and said ill be there in twenty mins or so to pick my kids up which was still through the school day and I go there and there are my two young kids outside by themselves with not a single person around what if something would have happened?... I confront the princible and he doesnt want to deal with it hed rather argue I went to hire up and got no where

  • AT
    May 30, 2014 - 09:02

    Two sides to every story. Of course the parents in the room are going to raise their hands, the ones who don't have problems aren't at the meeting. There is nothing in the article that gives an example of the severity of the problems. It is innuendo. There hasn't been anything in any of the articles that substantiate the removal of the administration other than vague statements like not resolved to their satisfaction. Maybe the administration needs to be removed, maybe they are doing a great job, but the 25 parents don't think so. If the legislature gets involved, fires the administration and it turns out to be wrongful dismissal you are facing a lawsuit. The next time you don't think your boss is treating you fairly, should you ask the legislature to get involved or deal with it through proper channels. There isn't enough information in these articles to be supportive of the parents - although I want to.

    • darlene
      May 30, 2014 - 10:03

      we are not talking about a adult and a boss we are talking about our children and grand children at a school one has nothing to do with the other so to compare a 5 year old with a adult is way out of the ball park the parents have their reasons and have sent them forward ...schools are suppose to be zero tolerance for bullying ...as far as 25 parents there are more then that not all could attend the meeting and most families have more then one child in the school....