Do you remember this?
and then this?
Well, they still have no school and today I heard that the portables that they had been using, such that they are, have been closed down. You see they are tearing down the old school that was unfit to learn in. That school was built over top of an old diesel spill. In tearing in down, of course the earth is being disturbed and apparently the fumes are unbearable.
The portables that were put in place to replace the school are a stone's throw away from that site. As the demolition began, the stench was horrific and the children were becoming ill. The staff tried to keep things going but the children couldn't concentrate and started developing headaches and other symptoms that you would associate with being exposed to diesel fumes. (I don't know about you, but I didn't know what a headache was as a child.)
The portables, so, their school, have now been closed. These kids are at risk of losing their school year. This is deplorable.
So many things run through my mind when I hear such stories. I watched the news tonight and saw the devastation in Italy and of course it's just awful. I wondered though why we don't see this school and these kids on the news. Why is that? There is a much larger, deeper story here.
These kids, against all odds, want to make it. Some of them won't and that is our fault. I listened to some commentary today about the trial of J.S.R. the young man that shot Jane Creba on Boxing Day. The right wing in this discussion was quick to say, oh poor baby...lock him up and throw away the key. What has come out though, is that he lived in poverty, was abused as a child, had numerous problems, ADHD etc., but all of that is to be ignored. People like Michael Coren are famous for saying that poverty isn't the problem, but when you have the courage to did down a little deeper, surely we can see that by depriving kids, through poverty, we set them and ourselves up for failure.
I always find it laughable to hear the right chant, 'they had a choice'. No, not really or at least, not much of one. If you can't see your way out except through one path and no one shows you another, what real choice do you have? Coren famously chides us with bromides like, there are plenty of poor people in the world and we simply don't have that in Canada. We apparently don't know the meaning of the word. Well, I challenge him to go and spend a month, sitting in those portables all day.
I have no idea at this moment where the Liberal party stands on this issue, but I will strive to find out. I know that the Harper government cancelled a Liberal initiative to build a new school, but I don't know where we stand now.
This should be a larger issue. If the economy is failing those who have, imagine the impact on the have-nots.