School Trustees, are put in place to engage their communitites in building and maintaining a school system that refelcts local priorities, values and expectations. They are to listen to their communities, guide the work of their school district and set plans, policies and the annual budget.
Policy 121 Duties of the Chair and Vice Chair from the Policy Manual by The Board of Education of School District No. 33 (Chilliwack)
“The Board Chair is an equal, with no more power or authority than any other trustee. Although the Chair assumes a leadership role, they must adhere to the Board’s directions and may not act unilaterally.”
As seen many times in public School Board meetings, Willow does not listen when parents, guardians and other residents of the Chilliwack community, attempt to voice their concerns. She will turn off their mic before they’ve finished speaking. She will also shut off the mic of fellow trustees, if their opinion doesn’t align with hers. She has also raised her voice, scoffed, laughed at and belittled, the ones trying to speak. Please see attached videos.
This Chair, seems to believe that she is above everyone else.
Referring back to Policy 121 “may not act unilaterally.”
- used to indicate that something is done by only one person, group, or country involved in a situation, without the agreement of others.
- in a way that affects only one side of an organ, the body, or another structure
How are the parents and concerned residents, supposed to get their valued opinions heard? After all, they encompass the first and final responsibility of their children and have every right not only to know what is happening in schools but have a say, if they are in disagreement.
Parents and residents have followed other procedures to try and be heard. Emails go unanswered or are replied with a generic response without addressing the intitial concern. These residents have even requested a private meeting with each board member and the Superintendent and again, no acknowledgement. They’ve also spoken with teachers and principals who tell you, to take your concerns up with the Board. In turn, the Chair will tell you to take your concerns to your teachers and principals. A game of chasing ones tail without resolution.
At least three Trustees on this Board, agree that some of the books in our school libraries, contain sexually explicit material. Nevertheless, Willow chooses to promote these books on social media and encourage everyone to “read banned books.”
She also undermined the integrity of the teaching profession and teachers in this district by stating that “no one advocating book banning in 2022, has any business being involved in public education,” or maybe it is a direct threat to teachers and Trustees, who think that those books should be banned.
Willow Reichelt, also works as an executive assistant, in the constituency office for Chilliwack’s (NDP) MLA, Dan Coulter. Is this not a conflict of interest? Any and all complaints that come to an MLA, regarding anything to do with the schools or the school system, might be “handled” by the executive assistant. In additiion, staff may feel more compliant because of who she works for. In this case, he could be seen as their ultimate boss. It seems that they do not understand or they are willfully acting like it doesn’t matter. However, it does matter in a case by case circumstance and in a myriad of ways.
Comments from the public:
“Willow was my grade 6 teacher – never allowed room for anyone’s thoughts or beliefs except her own – i highly believe it’s crucial to leave space for kids to discover their own opinions rather than being told what’s right and wrong – she would openly tell certain students she wished they were the only ones in the class etc. worst teacher i’ve ever had. honestly thought she got fired.”
“This school board should be ashamed of themselves. How they treated concerned parents, and what they’re allowing our kids to be exposed to. Shame!”
“Very sad to see the Chilliwack School District Board…so rude and ignorant…”
“Wow! I have rarely seen that level of rudeness from a board chair. That was disgusting behaviour”
“The disrespect that the head chair casts towards the parents is enraging to say the least, they are public servants and are serving the same parents they are disrespecting. I’m definitely showing up and reminded them of this fact next meeting with or without minutes……..YOU SERVE THE PARENTS!”
The list goes on.
As a parent of children within this School District, I demand that this tyrannical Chair, resign or be removed!
If she does not resign or is not removed, you will see a countless amount of our children, removed from public schools!!
Please sign this petition, if you agree!
Time is of the essence!