Letters: Learning assistance teachers crucial to saving justice system

Dear Editor,

I cannot see how we are really saving money by cutting back on learning assistance teachers in our public classroms in B.C.

The BC Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that there be a certain level of learning assistance teachers in classrooms. And again in April 2012 and January 2014, the BC Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional two statutes, enacted by Ms. Clark and the Liberal government, which restricted teachers’ bargaining rights.

Money is being spent by the B.C. Liberal government continually going back to the Supreme Court.

A good percentage of students in our public school suystem are not getting the education they need to equip themselves for the real world. Then a good number of these people end up in trouble with the law, and some of those people cannot afford lawyers, and we taxpayers end up paying for the lawyers.

Then there are the judges, court staff, guards in our jails, vehicles, and more buildings for courts and jails.

When people get sent to jail, we are again losing money through the loss of taxes they would pay if they had jobs.

In my main career as a deputy sheriff, I brought reading material to the prison when I first started. Most of these people ripped it up and threw it all over and plugged toilets with it.

I asked why they did it, and they all felt that I was trying to make fun of them becauswe they could not read.

They told me that they did go through school.

And that’s when I thought we needed more learning assistants in our public schools.

Premier Clark sends her own children to a private school, and I cannot blame her. That is a good move. But I do not believe everyone can afford to send their children to private schools.

We have to pay for what we get. I just do not want to slow down our already slow legal system just to have fewer learning assistance teachers. We really do need them.

Now the BC Liberals are entertaining paying families to keep our young people out of the public school system altogether.

Bill Taylor, Langley

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