LETTER: Removing awards on school agenda

Published on September 8, 2017

Thumbs up to the principal and staff of Strathcona Elementary School in Chilliwack, B.C. for their recent principled stand against school awards; it’s a growing trend (Globe and Mail, September 4, 2017 front page).  

A teacher’s role is to help others learn, to help others to develop attitudes, skills and knowledge to thrive today, tomorrow and in later life. I am certainly not against students taking part in competitions and receiving awards but teachers, and I would argue schools, should have no role in making the selection.
I’m aware of some instances where a local community foundation administers funds for school districts; perhaps that role could even be enlarged to include selecting winners. Having said this, I must declare that my past includes a period as a director of the Community Foundation of Prince Edward Island.
As a person who advocates for school autonomy, I’m curious to know if a school on P.E.I. has the autonomy to remove the making of awards from its agenda.

Don Glendenning,
A long-time student of education