New Education Law Page

There aren’t many education cases that make it to a hearing through the BC Human Rights Tribunal process. Especially in BC. However, every time they do, they advance the Human Rights Code in Education.

To the families who pursued their cases, not everyone had a “win” for themselves personally, but our community won. It is because of all of you for having done the hard emotional labour and sometimes at huge financial costs, that our kids have hope.

Only three of the cases listed on this page received a settlement.

However, these cases have left a legacy of advocacy tools for parents. These cases are the only advocacy tools that really have “teeth”.

Click here to read the new Education Law page on my P.A.T.H (Parent. Advocacy. Tribunal. Help) website to read these top cases.

Large dark green oval, with white letters that read P.A.T.H Parent. Advocacy. Tribunal. Help.

“Jumping the Shark”

As I look back on my educational advocacy experience I ask myself…. at what point did I jump the shark? And what was the last straw that made me do it?

There is a term in show biz called “jumping the shark”. It’s when the TV series, which was doing amazingly well, starts to suck. At what point did the show “jump the shark”?

I think of jumping the shark in terms of our experience in education, when we realize what we hoped was going well, actually isn’t. When things take a turn. Reality sets in. In terms of advocacy, it is at this point in time we stop being doormats and prioritize being “nice”. (And really, advocating doesn’t mean ripping the skin off people’s faces. We can be respectful, and maintain civility.) Sometimes that means contacting district administration and filing external complaints if necessary. But the days of head nodding are over.

Parents naturally want a good relationship with their child’s school.

No parent wants to feel unwelcome. A troublemaker. Causing people discomfort. I never in my life could have predicted our family’s education experience when my children started kindergarten. Never. If someone told me 10 years ago, this is how things would be, I wouldn’t have believed them.

I am someone who is very sensitive. I know that about my own neurodiversity. If I mentally don’t feel well, I feel it physically. In big ways.

When I first started filing Teacher Regulation Branch complaints, of which I filed 4 of them at the start, I broke out into stress hives. They were all around my chest and back, ironically where my heart is.

I never wanted to see the look of dread on someone’s face when I walked into my children’s elementary school.

I wanted to have a good relationship with people.

But here is the thing…

If you lie to me.

If you gaslight me.

If you manipulate me.

If you ignore my emails.

You are the one who is breaking the good relationship with me first.

It’s already over. I just haven’t clued into that yet.

No matter how much discomfort someone feels around me, the bottom line, my kids come first. I struggle with prioritizing the feelings of adults in the schools over my kids. They are adults with resources and skills to regulate their own emotions. Children who are being discriminated against in school can do nothing but endure. They are trapped. Hoping their parents will pull them out of the quicksand.

At some point, you just have to see things for what they truly are.

Behind their smiles.

We need to snap into reality. Prioritize the physical, mental, and emotional safety of our kids, and just “jump the shark”.

Head nodding days are over. Hello Human Rights Code.