Parking lot politics rebuked

With only a few days left of summer vacation, and with Back to School displays all over the place, I wanted to say that while I am sad that my kids are heading off back to school (I love the summers with my children!) I can at least rest assured that they are heading back to great schools. We are so lucky in Whistler, to have three fine public schools in a very small community, and I think this is something that needs to be said more often. My family have experience of Myrtle Philip, Spring Creek and Whistler Secondary, and we have loved them all.

While the Whistler community (especially the business community) is generally incredibly generous in supporting the schools, I am irritated when I hear negative and offensive comments directed at any of our schools by people who usually are poorly informed or who have a clear bias against our public school system generally.

Why do people not realize that when they feel free to insult our schools, they also by association insult our decision to send our children to the local schools, and they especially insult all the great kids who attend the schools and the many fine young people who have graduated with flying colours and continued into very successful lives?

Whistler Secondary seems to be the most frequent victim of this type of negative “parking-lot politics”. Just yesterday I was treated to a long and uninvited harangue on the subject of our high school by a gentleman who has no children at the school and has, to my knowledge, never stepped through the front door or met any of the staff, students or graduates. His opinion was based, as it usually is in these cases, on second or third hand information from equally ignorant or biased sources, mixed in with some old accounts of incidents that were a good decade old and certainly pre-dated our current excellent school administration.

I became so offended by this “conversation” that I made it my business to do some investigative snooping around, and in doing so I unearthed some interesting facts that I did not know previously.

If you look at the Fraser Institute school rankings, and use their new graphing system to actually compare “apples with apples”, Whistler Secondary comes out consistently in the top 1 per cent academically of all small high schools in B.C. The Fraser Institute designates “small” to be schools with 500 students or less; the fact that our little high school has only 350 students makes this achievement even more noteworthy.


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