Over the years, this blog has been a place for writing about local community events and art/writing projects that I've been involved in. After a long hiatus, I opened up this blog again! But this time, it was to write about a letter I sent to the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) Trustees.
In my most recent post, I shared my letter, written in the form of a long comic strip. It's about some concerns I have about indoor air quality (IAQ) at CBE schools. The comic has had some good responses. I talked about it (and handed out copies) at a meeting at my local school, in January 2023. A few parents, who were at the meeting, gave the comic some good reviews. And at least one parent who saw it online, was inspired to ask her own school council for a meeting on this subject. The Calgary Herald, a local newspaper, mentioned it in a recent article. So I'm hoping that the comic will help to spread awareness about this issue.
It was written in response to a conversation I had with one of our school board trustees, who asked me to clearly state "the problem we are trying to solve." In the comic, I phrased it this way:
"I'm perplexed as to WHY the COMPELLING EVIDENCE presented by many MEDICAL & AIR QUALITY EXPERTS in favour of the use of HEPA filters as a tool for REDUCING THE SPREAD of airborne illness in SCHOOLS, has NOT persuaded the CBE to RECONSIDER its decision to forbid their use!”
When my school board trustee read this, she said it still didn't seem like a "solveable problem" she was equipped to respond to. (That's another problem, I think!) But I gave it a shot: I drew one more panel, rephrasing the problem in even simpler terms, in hopes that this would be acceptable to her. Here's the panel:
Thank you for taking the time to write and illustrate your creative letter to the Board of Trustees of the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), dated January 19, 2023, regarding indoor air quality at CBE schools.
Now that all Trustees have had the opportunity to read your letter, we want you to know how important it is that you took the time to write and illustrate it. Your input helps the Board be aware of Calgarians’ concerns as we fulfill our key role in providing oversight of the CBE and monitoring student success.
As Trustees, we need engaged people like you to share your vision for public education, and to hold us accountable to the Board of Trustees’ core values: Students come first. Learning is our central purpose. Public education serves the common good.
Thank you, again, for taking the time to write.
Trustee Vukadinovic, on behalf of the Board of Trustees