Pushback shows SOS Champions’ work and engagement are being seen & heard
It has been brought to our attention that two school councils from Foundations for the Future Charter Academy (FFCA) charter schools sent unsolicited letters regarding the October 17, 2020 Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) Regular General Meeting to an indeterminate number of third party school councils and principals. The letters called into question the intelligence, democratic process and integrity of the recipient school councils.
The FFCA letters also named several volunteer members of Support Our Students Alberta (SOS) and directly suggested that those individuals exerted undue influence on school councils who may have voted in favour of a particular advocacy resolution. Not only is this categorically untrue, it insults the intelligence of fellow school councils to make their own decisions on proposed resolutions. The letters also called into question the integrity of SOS volunteers and alleged that they did not separate their responsibilities when representing their own councils. Worse still, some of the letters were sent directly to the members’ children’s schools. The personal lives of our volunteers (including the schools which their children attend) should never be shared publicly and discussed externally without consent, never mind used in this bad faith tactic.
Further, the letters state several falsehoods about the position of SOS as an organization, and intentionally misframes quotes from a past presentation to try and divide parents of alternative programming to create antagonism and fragmentation. (We encourage you to watch the misrepresented presentation in its entirety here: https://youtu.be/Qv8b81nf83w)
All in all, these FFCA letters can be interpreted as a voter suppression tactic in an effort to intimidate others into agreement with FFCA school councils' ideology. Furthermore, the voting system at the ASCA meeting was lauded as secret ballots, which begs the question of how FFCA councils were able to know which school councils voted in favour or against certain resolutions? Why are ASCA members (FFCA) calling into question voting patterns of other members?
SOS Alberta has always encouraged citizens to get engaged in their democracy, and with their school councils, and to participate in venues like ASCA. The FFCA letters are an affront to the collective efforts of ALL SOS Champions who have participated in the movement to advance public education.
In the past year, SOS volunteers have been working tirelessly with tangible and valuable services including:
In this work, SOS has connected with Champions across Alberta, encouraging and facilitating YOUR right to be engaged in advocating for a strong public education system.
What contributions to the province have the well-funded and well-connected FFCA organization made? Rather than publicly standing up for better COVID-19 measures in schools, or against the K-12 draft curriculum, these charter school councils have spent their time researching and publishing the personal information of SOSAB volunteers and spreading false information.
We feel justified in asking, what have these FFCA councils contributed to the larger society in this time of hardship and political turmoil?
Despite these unethical letters, we view these tactics as a testament to the effectiveness of SOS Champions.
Your voices are being heard.
You, as Champions of Public Education, are effective.
We will not give up and will not be deterred.
Public Education belongs to the people, and the people united will not be defeated.
We are public education advocates, and together we are making a difference.
Stay strong SOS Champions, our students are counting on it.