Student found strength to move on after Stafford controversy

Adults continue to hurl harmful words and claims at each other like they are still on the battlefields.

Editor: With news of Superintendent Cheryle Beaumont leaving last Tuesday (Jan. 17), I was taken back to a time when children were acting in a mature manner, and presenting viable solutions to their community, while adults belittled not just students, but themselves.

I close my eyes and think of the many times I watched grown adults throw away their right to be role models, as those on both sides disgraced their side of the argument.

Today, I see adults continue to hurl harmful words and claims at each other like they are still on the battlefields. I see people, frustrated at whatever they decide, try to blame every action of every person on their behaviour six years ago.

I see people break confidentiality to gain press. I watch as adults choose to act in a manner that, if it occurred in my classroom, would be classified as bullying. I see people playing victim cards when they are adults who can make a difference.

I see people using others to climb their own ladder. I see selfish people acting in a manner I would be ashamed to see from any of my students. But that is only one side.

I acknowledge the frustrations, the emotional responses and the hurt, but I will not deal with your negativity. The past has happened. You can dwell on it and allow bitter emotions to move into you heart. I just won’t have any part in it.

I found a different perspective. Six years ago, I was introduced to politics, rhetoric and people who have poured their lives into mine. I took a step outside of my comfort zone. I gained new friendships and strengthened old ones. It was a defining moment in my life.

I began to develop my own understanding of politics. I believe this quote from Vaclav Havel demonstrates what politics should be: “Genuine politics — even politics worthy of the name — the only politics I am willing to devote myself to is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.”

I began to desire a political change in Langley. I desired truth, justice, creativity, passion and joy. I hoped for engagement with communities, opportunities for growth and, most importantly, I hoped that no one would ever have to agaion go through what happened six years ago.

Our community is strong in Langley, I see it express itself daily through the connections we share. If we want change, we have to do it. Langley had a political change last week, and I think it is a good one, but feel free to make you own decision.

Howard Dean said that “at every turn when there has been an imbalance of power, the truth questioned, or our beliefs and values distorted, the change required to restore our nation has always come from the bottom up, from our people.”

So Langley, if you feel that there was an imbalance of power, that truth was questioned, or that values and beliefs were distorted, then be a part of the change.

Engage in politics, be part of this community, we welcome you. But please stop trying to tell me that I haven’t gotten over what happened six years ago, because I found beauty in it.

Can you?

Samantha Shepherd,

education student,

Trinity Western University

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