Welcoming P.A.T.H. (Parent. Advocacy. Tribunal. Help)

This summer I am deep into writing workshops to start up P.A.T.H in the fall.

P.A.T.H is a part-time passion of mine, where I will provide workshops. These topics are for navigating external complaint systems that are available for parents advocating in the BC K-12 education system here in Canada.

Many parents feel the same sentiment. We are the main source of accountability in the education system. For that reason, here we are.

Many parents are spinning in circles trying to advocate for their kids, feeling like they are getting absolutely nowhere. For that reason, here we are.

These workshops will focus on filing complaints with Ombudsperson BC, Teachers Regulation Branch, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ministry of Education, Whistleblower policy, and the Human Rights Tribunal process. For more details on workshop topics you can read my SERVICES page. It’s amazing all of the bits of information that are important to know about when dealing with education issues through these avenues.

To read about how in the world I landed here, my history, and why I am doing this, read my ABOUT ME page.

And lastly, it’s important to establish our rules of communication to best protect all of you.

When navigating these administrative tribunal systems, it is important to keep in mind that anything you say about your issues with your child’s school are called out-of-court statements. These are allegations. They are statements that haven’t been proven to be true….yet. Even though you feel they are true, until they are proven in court or in front of a tribunal and a decision has been made, they are nothing more than allegations. This is important to keep in mind so you can decide who you talk to /or not talk to about your case. We all need social support systems. However, when considering what to post on social media, I encourage you to be thoughtful. There may be eyes on your social media accounts.

Defamation is something you can be sued over. Here is the legal definition of defamation from the criminal code. Defamation only requires you to say something defamatory to one person. If what you are saying is true, AND that you have evidence for it, it’s not defamation. Here is a great resource on Dial-A-Lawyer on this topic.

I am not a lawyer. We do not have lawyer-client privilege, which means if you are in the human rights tribunal process, I could potentially be called as a witness at a hearing or our email communications be requested. The best way to protect yourself is to keep yourself really clean and not email me any confidential documents, not tell me any identifying details about your case, and not even use your real name…. you may even want to use/create a non-identifying email address. My commitment is to reduce your risk. Peace of mind is priceless. That is why I have established rules for email communication.

To read about them, you can click on my contact page.

I want to be helping out as many parents/guardians as I possibly can, for a long time. These rules are like the walls of the house that will keep this house standing.

It’s also important to note that legal advice applied to your case and navigating complaint systems are two different things. When it comes to legal advice, you should only be getting legal advice from a lawyer. Anything less, and what may seem like a benefit to you, will actually not benefit you at all.

In addition to my degrees, I have a certificate as a Family Life Educator and this is the framework in which I will be operating P.A.T.H. That is, I am not the expert of you, your family, your child, or your situation. I offer up lots of information like a Sunday brunch buffet. It is up to you to reflect on your life and decide what you want to put on your plate. Only you will know what is best for you and your family. I just want to help you make the most informed decision and empower you with the knowledge to be able to advocate in ways that address your family’s needs.

And so, we have P. A. T. H

As we move into September I’ll be starting the conversation on workshop dates.

Have a wonderful summer!