Kangiqsujuaq teachers worked during school closure


Following the Jane George article that was published in your February 4, 2005 issue entitled “Attack on principal shuts Kangiqsujuaq school,” we feel we have to set the record straight about a few facts.

First of all, it was mentioned that Arsaniq school closed down for three and a half days. That is false. We did not teach for three and a half days, but we worked, as everybody said: “like we never worked before.” We had meetings to find the cause of all this violence, find ways to prevent it and make the school safer and happier for all concerned.

We created a student lounge, a time-out room, we washed away all the graffiti, we set up a security agent position, we developed a new code of conduct, a new good morning music system and many other novelties. On Jan. 17 in particular, we worked from 8:30 a.m. until almost midnight!

The other issue we have with the article is the emphasis you put on music. While it is true that music played some role in the specific incident that started it all, the issue at the root of violence is the lack of special education resources that the Kativik School Board is providing.

That is why we waited three days to meet with Kativik School Board representatives so we could ask them for funds to hire one special education teacher, since we presently have none, contrary to what was stated many times in the article. We also want to explain that after acknowledging our problem, the Kativik School Board sent us letters explaining that they could not help us with that demand.

We also feel it’s important to point out that in its official news release about the educational council meeting in Kuujjuaq from Feb. 15 to 17, nowhere is it mentioned that teachers are invited. Shouldn’t teachers be at the heart of “school success?”

We felt we had to make sure your readers understood exactly what we did and why we did it. We did a lot of good as a team and continue as a team. It is therefore as a team that we sign this letter.

Teachers of Arsaniq School

Editor’s note: If no teaching took place, and no child attended any class for three and a half days, then, as far as the public is concerned, the school closed. Our story is accurate on that point. And if there is an “emphasis” on music in the story, it is the school centre director, Mark Tertiluk who supplied us with it. When a school official organizes the burning of rap and heavy metal albums at an evangelical church, that’s a news story anywhere in North America. Finally, we aren’t responsible for the content of KSB new releases.

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