Brookside PS Concerns

Hi Dianne. I have been asked by Trustee Wagler to provide some additional information in response to a letter from you regarding the Playground Fundraising at Brookside Public School.

In order to make the new playground a reality, Brookside Public School accepted donations from a variety of corporations, businesses, organizations and individuals. The project focused on raising funds to enhance the playground facilities and provide green spaces for the students.

K2 Wind was one of many sponsors of the Brookside project along with corporations such as Toyota, Metro, Majesta, Farm Credit Canada, Hydro One, Elliott Fencing, Advance Insulation, and service clubs such as the Kinettes, Kinsmen, Lions and many more.

There were no commitments made by the school to any of these contributors and the schools did not endorse any of the sponsors in anyway. All of these companies and organizations received thank you photos in the local newspaper.

K2 Wind requested parental permission for students to participate in its promotional activities and students who did not return the permission forms signed or whose parents declined permission did not participate in the activities.  K2 did make available T-shirts with their logo, but no student was pressured to wear a shirt or even accept a shirt.

There apparently was a video produced by K2 about their involvement in the Brookside campaign, but at the school’s request, the video was removed from every vehicle in which it may have been published and then it was destroyed.  The company has signed a legal document verifying that the video no longer exists.

Board staff uses Administrative Procedure 322 – Partnerships and Advertising in Schools to assist them when dealing with sensitive issues like this one. Our senior staff will take this opportunity to review this procedure to determine whether any updates or changes might be necessary.

Ted Doherty
Director of Education and Secretary of the Board Avon Maitland District School Board

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Dear Mr. Doherty,

Thank-you for your response to my concerns regarding the Brookside P.S. students and their interactions with K2 Wind Energy.
I am sending a link to a 3 minute and 26 second YouTube video which I hope you will watch.  In fact showing it at a Board meeting would be even better.
It might help to explain why I am so passionate about the  wind companies who intend to change our
rural landscape forever.  Without even considering the health issues, these wind factories will be a blight forever on rural Ontario.  So when I hear that the wind company
employees  are finding reasons to interact with our children – in our schools – it disturbs me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=svicELHAWyw

I think you and your staff and the AMDSB Board need to read the comments below this article on line to know how the public feels about this issue.
http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2013/07/02/sponsorship-at-avon-maitland-schools-reviewed/

I have heard that all of the Brookside teachers wore their K2 shirts on the last day of school.  This is absolutely going to affect how the
kids view their K2 “GREEN” t-shirts as representing their membership in some kind of “cool Club”, and I don’t believe the classroom is the place to make such a statement.
In a community like ACW, where the topic of wind turbines is already dividing the community, the participation of students and staff at Brookside in any
pro-wind turbine photo op or video or tree planting or t-shirt wearing is highly inappropriate.  I have been retired from AMDSB for 13 years and a lot
has changed, I am sure, but a school staff taking a side in a controversial debate like this used to be frowned upon.  It seems like the students have been
exposed to one side of an argument using inaccurate words like green, and environmentally friendly etc.

Thank-you for taking a closer look at AMDSB policies related to partnerships, advertising and avoidance of exploitation of students.  In the near future
several more of your schools will be offered money by the wealthy wind companies.  I realize the dollars are needed but the strings attached
to the money should be considered carefully.  Perhaps in the future, all of the Principals can present a consistent response when the wind people come bearing
gifts and asking to plant trees  or pose for photos with children.  K2 brought their own photographer, I bet and so will Northland Power and NextEra etc.

Here is a link to the K2 Wind Energy Spring Newsletter containing the article and photo  regarding the $25,000. donation to Brookside P.S.
Page 3     http://www.k2wind.ca/wp-content/uploads/K2_Newsletter_Summer2013.pdf

I look forward to hearing the results of your review of procedures.  It is possible that the interpretation and consistent following of the procedures is the part which needs to be addressed.

Sincerely,  Dianne Waun

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