Pubdate: Mon, 17 Jan 2005
Source: Nelson Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Nelson Daily News
Author: Lenora Trenaman
Cited: Safety First


Editor, Nelson Daily News,

School District #8 DPAC would like to comment on statements made by
Superintendent Brian Butcher in the NDN  January 10, 2005 article
titled, "School drug and alcohol policy slammed by parents".

First, Superintendent Butcher refers to the DPAC feedback as negative.
  DPAC feels the feedback is extremely positive in that the parent
comments to the Board on this issue encourage a proactive approach
that emphasizes support and education for all students. Parents of
SD#8 indicate that they want a policy that promotes education,
awareness, and safety and not another discipline policy.  Does
Superintendent Butcher feel that any comment that disagrees with this
draft policy is negative?

Second, Superintendent Butcher ascribes the word "only" to DPAC's
input.  DPAC is not an "only".  DPAC, by legislation, is the voice of
the parents for this district.

DPAC is legislated to give advice to the Board and Administration.
DPAC does its best to represent as many parents as possible.  The
input/advice submitted was gleaned from many parents throughout the
district.  This issue was discussed at general meetings, at a number
of DPAC Policy committee meetings, at executive meetings, at PAC
meetings, during numerous phone conversations with parents around this
district, with youth addiction professionals outside of the school
system, on the DPAC website, and with the Restorative Action
Committee.  As well, parents have put in many hours of research to
ensure that the advice is of high quality and is in the best interest
of students (our children) in our schools.

Furthermore, DPAC's advice is absolutely not the only feedback that is
in disagreement with the draft Drug and Alcohol policy.  In both the
first and second rounds of feedback, there are a number of submissions
indicating major concerns regarding this policy.  These submissions
come from individual parents, a community group, teachers,
administrators, and members of the public.

Parents agree that schools should take drug and alcohol issues
seriously.  That is why DPAC submitted to each trustee a written
education program called "Safety First", which
supports, educates, and protects our children and will help them to
succeed in school and in the world.

DPAC appeals to the Trustees not to approve this Policy as written, at
the February 01, 2005 Board meeting but to send Draft Policy 300.1
Drugs and Alcohol back to Board Policy Committee table.

Yours truly,

Lenora Trenaman

President, SD#8 DPAC
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