Monday, August 31st, 2020
The Board of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) (the “Board”) has for the second time voted to formally censure Trustee Allan Gribbin. The vote took place at a closed meeting held on August 25th, 2020.
Since the first censure on June 25th, 2019, for disrespectful comments and disruptive conduct in a public board meeting on May 28, 2019 and for misleading statements made in the newspaper, Trustee Gribbin has made further false, misleading and derogatory statements about the Board and its Staff.
The Board is compelled, as part of this censure, to correct the record given misrepresentations made by Trustee Gribbin, specifically around decision-making relating to the return of students to in-school learning, as well as any confusion around the meaning of the term censure. vs. censor.
Safe Return to Schools – Providing the Best Education Possible
For all decisions about the District’s Back-to-School-Safely plans, District administration has followed the direction of the Ministry of Education and, since the state of emergency was declared, also followed the requirements of the BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO). No one person, even the Board, makes this decision alone. These decisions are the product of a very large, dedicated team, working with all stakeholder groups locally and provincially, in planning the safe return and operation of our schools. The Ministry and the PHO review and approve all plans.
The Board Chair and Superintendent are the two authorized spokespersons of School District 8, per Board policy. The District’s website www.sd8.bc.ca provides accurate information regarding our Back-to-School-Safely plans and all aspects of the educational services we provide.
Trustee Gribbin is not authorized to speak on behalf of the Board.
The Board is committed to open, transparent debate. All Trustees are free to express their personal perspectives; however, the Board’s policies and ethics insist on respect and standards of professionalism and civility within this free discussion, consistent with the Board’s Code of Conduct.
Contrary to what Trustee Gribbin published in a letter to the editor, he has not ever been ‘censored’. A Board censure is not ‘censorship’. It is a statement of disapproval in response to breaches of the Board’s Code of Conduct. The Board has a responsibility to ensure that the Code of Conduct is upheld in order to maintain the integrity and dignity of the Board.
The Board acknowledges Trustee Gribbin’s place at the Board table of School District No. 8. As a Trustee duly elected by our constituents, his voice is welcome in helping to find consensus as to what is best for our students. However, the Board is resolute that it must engage in respectful dialogue and debate, in a constructive environment.
The Board places the highest importance on its mission to foster excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment. The Board will take action as necessary so as not to be distracted from this important mission and a focus on ensuring a safe and successful return to school this fall.
For more information:
Lenora Trenaman, Board Chair
About The Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):
The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.