Langley Mom heads into strike-bound school to teach her kids

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Langley Mom heads into strike-bound school to teach her kids

A Langley mother “walked in” to her child’s elementary school this morning as teachers held their one-day rotating walkout outside.

The teachers weren’t happy, but there wasn’t much fuss.

Brigitte MacNamara cautiously pulled into the parking at Simonds elementary as about a dozen teachers looked on from the sidewalk.

They wore their picket signs, but said nothing, at least not loudly, at the mother of two and two other parents with their kids crossing their picket line.

Two Mounties were on scene as well.

MacNamara repeats she’s not trying to snub the union — she’s had to take the day off work anyway, so why not bring the kids in to do some work?

She says, “There’s math, we’re doing science, we’re going to be doing research in the library using the books as much as possible because that’s the only place that we will get access to apparently.”

No teacher would comment to reporters.


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  1. So does this mean I can expect a refund on my provincial school taxes or pay them in-kind through volunteer time? Huge potential for pandora’s box lady, think.

  2. What a courageous mother but judging from the intimidating stare-downs she got from picketing teachers, she may be forced to home school her child when this is over.

    • Were you there?? Did you see the intimidating stares???? I think you are lying. Remember it is better to be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt!!!!

      • Why don’t you watch BCTV tonight and judge for yourself. Even with reporters and news cameras rolling, the picketers were glaring and growling at the mom and her 2 daughters like a pack of hungry hyenas eyeing their next meal. The only thing that kept them from pouncing were the 2 Mounties and orders from the BCTF to stand down. After all, when you’re shaking down the public for a 19% wage increase, having an angry a mob of picketing teachers confronting 8 and 10 year “scabs” is unlikely is bad PR which explains why the pickets became “mutes” when questioned by reporters. But of course Ted and Mary who were obviously not there, calls this teacher bashing.

        • What a complete fabrication. We watched the news segment and did not see the “glaring and growling like hungry hyenas eyeing their next meal”, or “the only thing that kept the teachers from pouncing were the two Mounties” you speak of. Shame on you for exaggerating a news story for your own benefit.

  3. The story says “there wasn’t much fuss”. While are you insinuating there was intimidating stare -downs. We’re you there ??? Or is it just another chance to bash teachers and unions ?

      • If you think teachers are well-adjusted, affable people feel free to send your child across the pickets. If you think teachers are angry about a 13-year battle with the Liberal regime to restore their associative rights in Canada; about being asked to balance the province’s books on the backs of students, teachers and working families; and that they don’t particularly enjoy watching their colleagues in other provinces receive better employment conditions (Just a thought here, but maybe these provinces do a better job of economic planning than BC) , then don’t send your kid across the pickets. Like anybody else teachers are people with long, long memories. What goes around.

    • That’s your philosophy about how to treat Parents and kids in the School system?
      Man you need to be removed from at least from the Education system!
      Totally unbelievable coming from a Teacher. You must be a real proud BCTF er.

  4. More parents should be as involved and caring about their child’s education ass this woman appears to be.If EVERY parent helped their own children,taxpayers would not have to hire very expensive civil servants to serve as if they were babysitters.And not every child in the school would not need a teacher or an ED for him or her self.
    Of course the BCTF is more than happy to employ their members to do babysitting and socializing chores that parents should be EXPECTED to do at little or no cost to the tax payers.Every student in every school would then be better served by having teachers teach and parents parent.

  5. Is Ms. MacNamara & the other two parents, who as far as I’m concerned are simply looking for their chance to be the news item of the day, going to pay the cost of having two Mounties at the scene? Sorry, I like everyone else have children who are affected by this teacher/government mess but would never think to waste taxpayer money (police resources) when a few hours of teaching math and science can easily be done at home.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Although she says that she isn’t doing it to snub the union, I think it is pretty clear that is exactly her motive. If she had to take the day off anyway and she is worriedthat her kids might be missing class, make a field trip out of it. Go to the Art Gallery or do something constructive, but I guess you wouldn’t get reporters wanting to talk to you and take your picture.

    • I believe the Mounties were there because they were concerned what the teachers may do if a parent crossed the picket line. After all, we have been informed many, many times how sacred a picket line is to unionists. I don’t think they were there with concerns about what the parents would do.

  6. It’s fine for this parent as she has kids in Gr 3 & 5. Easy! I suppose it would be a different story if they were in high school taking English, Math or Physics 12… Even most teachers (elementary and secondary) would struggle with these subjects if it wasn’t their area.

  7. Go ahead Doug…You’re more than welcome to educate your own child…Another moron who has no idea what goes on in the school system… Remember you get what you pay for…!!!

  8. Well it is certainly nice to see such a dedicated parent willing to teach and help out. In fact, I would really encourage this mother to continue to go into the schools when the strike has ended and volunteer her time to help out the special needs students in her district who have no EA support due to lack of budget. There are so many of these kids, mine included, who have no EA hours given to them or only have part time hours or their EA has no replacement to fill in when sick. Why? Because the government cut millions of dollars of funding to special needs students. That is what teachers are fighting for when they mention class composition. Class composition is not about teachers or wages or the bctf. It is about teachers fighting to get back special needs funding that they had given up wage increases for in the past which the government stripped from contracts in 2002. It is about trying to meet the educational, basic and safety needs of BC’s disabled children.

    I am truly sorry for parents who will be struggling for a few days to find child care and figure things out. But what people need to realize is that parents such as myself have been fighting and stressing every day for YEARS because our special needs children are getting less and less help via EA support every year. And that effects YOUR kids. Because when the teacher has to follow a special needs child who runs out of the classroom or is having a meltdown or is spending vast amounts of time trying to help a learning disabled child figure something out then that means that YOUR child is not getting the attention that they, too, need and deserve. EA support not only helps my special needs child but it also helps yours because that EA is circling the room helping ALL the students when that special needs student is doing ok at the time.

    So before you decide to join or support crossing a picket line, please remember that the fight for class composition is about helping children who fit into 12 designation categories (autism, deaf, blind, physically handicapped, intellectual disability, severe behavioral etc.). This is why I support teachers 100% and have joined them at times on the line. By crossing the picket line, this parent needs to realize that she is jeopardizing the fight to help BC’s most vulnerable citizens: disabled children. But join the line and you are helping to secure the future for children like mine who deserve the same access to education as other children in this province.

    • EA’s are CUPE workers, not BCTF teachers. Do you actually think the BCTF is advocating for another union? Look at the actual bargaining proposal, then you’ll see what the BCTF really cares about.

  9. So how many times did this woman go to her children’s school during lockout times and help her kids…..supervise them. Feel sorry for the kids when their mom decides to cross a picket line in front of a hospital and decides to treat own her kids.

  10. I think the issue would be what is this lady teaching her kids. That it is okay to cross a picket line! Not a lesson one should teach lightly without fully explaining the history of unions and what they they have fought for over the years.

    • Picket line, schmicket line. If you want me to believe teachers are abused in sweat shops, you’re dreaming in black and white. I teach my kids to be grateful for their freedom, use their brains and not follow or be intimidated by anyone who doesn’t hold any authority over them – such as a picket line.

      • If it wasn’t for workers protesting for the right to work a decent work shift, & have a day off years ago, your kids would not have the freedom to do the same when they are old enough to enter the work force. You are not teaching your kids to be grateful, you’re teaching them to be ungrateful & to disrespect the reason they have the freedom they have.

        • Oh, but we are grateful for the past work of the union movement. Today’s BCTF is the opposite representation of what history tells though. It’s a disgusting thought that they are even remotely related!

    • Public sector workers should never have been allowed to unionize in the first place !

      They are employees of the taxpayer and should represent themselves as such !

    • The school is a public building. Anyone is free to enter, and the union has no right to think they can close it to the public. This is nothing like a private company factory producing widgets.
      Crossing the line to do the work of the picketing workers is one thing. This mom is NOT getting paid to do it (actually, the opposite). She is using a public facility to conduct a day of learning for her kids. Nothing more. She could have gone to a library, but is making an excellent statement this way.

  11. So what your saying is you have taught your kids to have no respect for what others have fought and died for… no wonder people like harper get away with the mistreatment of are Canadian Vets..

    • How on earth does someone come up with this drivel? That’s exactly why this dispute has been so damaging and out of control – silly people misquote and fabricate what they think others really said instead of just sticking with what was clear in the first place. I think it’s rather foolish to grasp at anything one can cook up. Clear enough?

  12. I feel sorry for her kids. I have a feeling that when the strike is settled her kids will experience a whole lot of difficulty in trying to get any help from teachers in the future. She may have to move them to school where they aren’t know to the staff.

  13. I wonder how she would feel if twenty nine other parents dropped off their kids and expected her to look after all those kids for the whole six hour day. Even if all she had to do was supervise thirty one kids all day, without any parent support. This would be an interesting experiment.