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Hello Mike:

I was unable to respond to your weekly poll question as there was no applicable answers offered.

Most unfortunately, the question that was posed (“Are teachers right to boycott the FFHS graduation ceremony?”) was both misleading and inaccurate. It was not a question based on facts pertaining to the ongoing labour relations issue involving our local secondary teachers.

While the teachers currently are on strike, having chosen at this time to hold once weekly full withdrawal of services, they have not—nor did they ever contemplate at any time—“boycotting” the students’ Grade 12 graduation ceremony.

So it is impossible for your readers to accurately select an opinion about whether teachers are right to do something that they have not, in fact, done.

Any and all teachers, including those with or without children of their own graduating this school year, are fully encouraged to be present at [tomorrow’s] ceremony. The difference is that they will be seated in the audience with all other most welcome community members, rather than on the stage as has been the case in the past.

There were several errors in [last] week’s issue of the Times related to this current job action and I respectfully encourage you, as editor, to carefully fact check before signing off on any and all articles/editorials that then are published and made available to our community and posted online for anyone to read.

At the heart of good journalism is presenting facts that have been checked and double-checked with all parties involved to ensure accuracy and truthfulness. There is a significant danger, of course, in relying on information provided to you by simply one source.

This can so very easily, as is the case here, lead to misinformation and erroneous, inaccurate representation of the truth.

Thank you for your time and attention to ensuring this happens in any and all future reporting or opinion pieces published in our community newspaper.


Shar Gilbert

Fort Frances, Ont.

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