When we started this we hadn’t even all met each other and we communicated by 140 character direct message. We saw numerous parents’ groups emerging to support teachers and public education. We hoped to provide them a unified focus and to amplify their voices.
We shall play in their offices
and chalk their pavement.
We will have story time.
We will never surrender.
We hoped for four to five MLA Playdates on “the first day of school” and we organized two. That day there were 24 events at MLAs’ offices. Many more have been held daily in the weeks since and we are still learning about some of them.
We only floated an idea. Many others across BC acted to make MLA Playdate happen.
For that our thanks to:
The parents. A website and a twitter account alone does not provide any pressure on government. It was your acting on the belief that your children’s education is important that made MLA Playdate a reality. You were creative. You stood up, spoke out and organized. You even brought the sidewalk chalk.
The kids. Some MLA Playdates were a lot of fun for the kids, but day after day on the sidewalk outside MLAs’ offices has the potential to bore even the most engaged kid. We hope you gained confidence in your ability to speak out and will use it in the future to better your community.
We also recognize that frequently you were the ‘peacekeepers,’ as adults had to behave better in front of you, and for that we owe you a special debt.
And yes, this time it was really all about you.
The tweeters and retweeters, emailers and facebookers. You helped to spread the word and you kept us informed about what was happening at MLA Playdates, and other parents protests across the province, so we could inform others. A large part of MLA Playdates was about sharing — both online and off — and sharing is caring. Media paid attention and parents’ voices were heard because of you.
The MLAs who opened their doors. Your hospitality, willingness to listen and your positive lesson in civics will not be forgotten.
The MLAs who closed their offices. By locking our kids out on the sidewalk, you provided us the best illustration imaginable of your government’s unresponsiveness to the needs of our province’s children and public education.
And the teachers. You have sacrificed for our children; risked your and your families’ well-being. Both you and our children deserve better than this deal but we’ll understand if teachers decide it is the best available from this government. You have our respect, our support and our thanks.
We are signing off — for now.
MLAs take note: we are not going away. We will continue to push for the quality public education that our children deserve. We will encourage others to do the same. We will continue to organize. You will be hearing from us.
“The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.”
Quinn, Pete and Paul