It`s time to remove one of the main problems which is preventing a settlement of the BCTF strike which is being used as a bargaining chip by the teachers: special needs students.
This is not a put down of those kids who have been classified as special needs as those kids need all the help that we can afford to give them. But it is a mistake to assume every special needs child should be in a regular classroom. If the child is not socially disruptive then by all means have them remain among the other students as long as he or she can keep up.
The teachers will tell you that having special needs students in the classroom helps teach the so-called normal kids about acceptance. I can agree with that but only up to a point.
What the BCTF wants is more members and the more extra staff that they can force the government to hire for aids for these special needs students only increases their union’s power.
If the BCTF truly wanted what was best for the majority of the students as well as for special needs students then they would be calling for a three-level classification for the special needs students which would be in the best of interests of all concerned.
Do this and the fight over hiring more teacher aides in the never ending contract fights between the union and the government is removed. And teachers can get back to being teachers in a classroom setting more conducive for learning for the majority of students. As well as dealing fairly with those special needs students who do not belong in a regular classroom setting.