To the editor:
Re: School District 23 Corporate Advertising Policy
I am writing to clarify some points regarding the discussion surrounding the suspension of SD23’s Corporate Advertising Policy due to the Rotary Clubs offer of $50,000 towards the daycare for the children of some students at Kelowna Secondary School.
• All of the participants in the discussion at the SD23 board of education meeting—from trustees to COPAC to COTA—agree that this project should go ahead.
• It will go ahead because the board, by previous motion, has committed to the project either through internal funding or by seeking other donors.
• The advertising policy was created to cover other community organizations which would include service clubs along with corporations, sponsors, and other donors.
• The policy was reviewed in 2010 and re-indorsed as the desired approach SD23 would like to manage offers of monies tied to advertising, sponsorship or other forms of donations. There is provision within this policy which provides a wide range of recognition opportunities including the placement of a temporary banner at the site, recognition at the main event, through the media including school newsletters, and a permanent recognition with a plaque at the board office, and media coverage to be allowed for donations, etc.
• This policy was created after consultation with Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council (COPAC), Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association (COTA), the trustees and parents. Both COPAC and COTA had representation at the board meeting expressing their strong support of the existing policy, along with several individual parents.
I was quite dismayed that the board chose to suspend the policy so that they could receive the money from the Rotary Club which is to be given provided that a plaque is posted on the daycare building.
This action has caused me to question SD23’s approach to policy making and the consultation process. Is this process meaningless? Is the time and effort and resources that went into the process of formulating this policy just a façade? Are we just going through the motions to look good? Is consultation just for appearances, only to be disregarded at a moments notice?
How can we ethically change the ‘rules,’ so to speak, when there is financial gain tied to the decision? Is this the model we want to present to our children? If the rules don’t work for you, just suspend them.
I am sure that principals in high schools have been asked by their students for the rules to be suspended as they don’t meet their interests. I honestly cannot see this process having any integrity.
I felt compelled to write this letter in the hopes that somehow this situation may be turned around.
Barb Van Essen,