To the editor:
Re: Plaque request by service club troubling for some trustees, June 10 Capital News.
First, I want to thank the Capital News for sending a reporter to school board meetings—other media outlets do so very rarely.
Secondly, I often feel it is best not to respond to newspaper articles as it only raises the issue again and can lead to more confusion. However, in this case, I feel compelled to respond to the above mentioned article.
The article is mostly correct, but some of the comments are reported out of the sequence in which they were made, and at least one attributed to me is incorrect.
When I said: “I don’t see how there was no pressure put on us. We were told, ‘either you suspend the policy or you won’t get the money,’” I was responding to Trustee Wayne Horning’s comment, when he said “there is no pressure,” noting the club had given the district three options—to put up the plaque and exempt the donation from the policy, to amend the policy or to turn down the funds.
I also said that the Rotary Club was perfectly within their rights to say what their rules are when they make donations, but that we should not suspend our policy in order to comply with their rules. At no time did I say that I “was also offended by the brazen attitude of the club.”
In the past I have questioned the practice of not allowing service clubs to be recognized in our schools. However, I believe that the way to deal with this is to review our policy, not suspend it on a one-time basis for one particular club.
As far as Rotary Clubs are concerned, I have always appreciated the support that they have given to our schools. This support includes the One-to-One Reading Program, the Rotary Public Speaking Competitions, scholarships and leadership opportunities.
I do hope that the newspaper article has not given Rotarians and the public in general, the wrong impression about my views on service clubs and all that they give and provide to our schools and our communities.
Central Okanagan Board of Education