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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 1, September 2005

A win for teachers

Once again teachers’ right to speak out has been affirmed. In August, the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal brought forward by BCPSEA. The employers’ association was trying to overturn a previous arbitrator’s ruling affirming teachers’ rights to share information with parents.

The court declared:

In the words of Madam Justice Huddart (Mr. Justice Donald concurring) in BCPSEA v. BCTF, 2005 BCCA 393:

"Through the various materials the BCTF asked its members to distribute, teachers voiced their concerns about government policies on issues of particular importance to them. This is, of course, political expression of a kind deserving of a high level of constitutional protection."

"The School Boards cannot prevent teachers from expressing opinions just because they step onto school grounds. School grounds are public property where political expression must be valued and given its place."

"…it is difficult to see how discussion about class size and composition in relation to the needs of a particular child by an informed and articulate teacher could do anything but enhance confidence in the school system."

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