On this blog, I've posted a couple of updates about the comics I've written to the Calgary Board of Education Trustees, about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in schools. I thought I might as well add a couple of other related comics here - I wrote these back in November and December 2022.
After sending these letters, I was able to have a on-screen call with my local school board trustee. What happened after that? I wrote about that in my previous blog post - take a look!
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.
But, unfortunately, the message doesn't seem to be getting through to the people I was addressing it to: the school board trustees!
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:
Was this acceptable? I don't think so. I received a letter from the Board of Trustees last week, and here's what it said:
Dear Sam Hester,
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
It's just a form letter! There isn't even a glimpse of an answer to my question, or even an acknowledgment of the question. So I guess I will have to write another letter.
I wrote this letter to the Calgary Board of Education Trustees so I could ask them about Indoor Air Quality measures (or, really, the lack thereof) at CBE schools. I haven't written anything on this blog in so long! But this comic is too long to attach to emails, so I thought I'd post it here. We'll see what happens!
I am a graphic recorder based in Calgary. I like local stories. I write comics when I have free time. And I leave eraser shavings everywhere I go.
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Some nice things people said about my work:
“If Breitkreuz and Foong [founders of the Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo] represent the Type-A side of Calgary's self-publishing community, Hester may be the community's right brain.” – Tom Babin, FFWD Magazine
“…A strong graphic style similar to other autobiographically-inclined Canadian cartoonists like Chester Brown and Julie Doucet.” – Gilbert Bouchard, Edmonton Journal
The 23rd Story: an indie comics creator's tales of life in Calgary