Re: Another chance to clean up act, June 5 letters.
As Earl Marriott Secondary parents, many of us were angered and upset by the letter to the editor, as we are doing our best to raise good, community-conscious young adults with support of a terrific school staff.
It is our duty to speak up for our students and staff.
To criticize EMS and the almost 2,000 students attending the school – when it only takes a few to make such an awful mess – is unjust. They are simply a handy target.
These students returned to school last September, and Alderwood Park was already a mess – the garbage cans overflowing, the litter scattered.
This happens every year, as it is the Earl Marriott students – under the supervision of generous and caring teachers – who have cleaned the park and emptied garbage cans, which the city will no longer service.
Garbage cans are empty during the week, as class groups and members of the Global Citizens Club empty them. They fill up on the weekends!
Several years ago, the principal locked the gate that provides access to the park, thus forcing the students to go around and avoiding such misplaced criticism. It was at the request of the townhouse residents that gate was reopened so they could use this shortcut while out walking.
Alderwood is a public park and a public throughway. Our school grounds are public property as well, but they are maintained and tidy.
The mess obviously goes beyond the students, and yet the assumption is the mess is all theirs, while they are not credited for any of the ongoing cleanup they have provided the park for many years. Most of the 2,000 students do clean up after themselves, as well as after some messy members of the community.
Criticizing caring, hardworking students will not motivate them to continue to be good custodians.
I am proud of our students and suggest that rather than blaming them, it would be better to turn the focus to the community who use the park and the city, which should be responsible for emptying the cans and providing bylaw enforcement.
Lucy Karnik, Earl Marriott Secondary PAC chair