A letter to the Vancouver Sun from a colleague

Government fears education because education teaches people to think. An autocratic government’s worst nightmare is a populace that knows how to think, knows when they are being strung a line that doesn’t fit the facts, has a sense of history, is able to recognize actions common to all autocratic governments, and the skills to organize ideas into coherent form.

So squeezing teachers is just the first line of attack on education. Overcrowded classrooms, lack of support for special needs students, media focus on money to mask the main objective- to target the students, the children from age five to age nineteen, the most powerless and yet the most important segment of our society, so they grow up less prepared to understand and face the world, more easily duped. How despicable!

This strike is not about money, it’s about our children’s right to a good education, to learn to think. Thinking is essential to democracy. We older people know what autocratic government can do- Stalin, Hitler, Tienanmen Square are just the end results of a process we already see signs of in Canada. The teachers are striking for education for our children and grandchildren.  Our government fears the result.

Shirley Campbell