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Dear editor:

Yes, Jim, “to gain respect you have to respect others!”

I have always found you to be a reasonable and fair individual; one who did his research and homework. I would think these are important qualities in a newspaper publisher.

As the publisher of the sole newspaper in Fort Frances, I would think that you would hold yourself to a higher standard in that there is an expectation that you would respect your position, your craft, and your readers.

Yet your “Publisher’s Pen” column (“You must respect others to gain respect,” published on June 15) is far from fair, reasonable, or properly researched. It is riddled with inaccuracy, innuendo, and inflammatory commentary.

Jim, I have to ask you, did you visit the picket line and talk to teachers to research your article? Have you contacted OSSTF to find out exactly what the issues are and what the present sanctions are?

If you had, you would have discovered that no teacher wants to be on a picket line and that this legal strike is a last resort, as all strikes are, and that many of the statements in your column are incorrect.

Perhaps you might have investigated why, then, the teachers feel compelled to take this stand. If you have not, where is your respect for your craft and your readers?

Local secondary teachers are not boycotting graduation. They all will be present in the stands, along with the parents and other supporters of the graduates.

And yes, Jim, you likely will hear applause and cheers from the teacher section as they support and show their respect for the students that they teach and value.

Teachers always have been present, and always will be present, to show respect and support for their students—not only at graduation but every single day of the school year.

Further, teachers have not withdrawn support for their students beyond “their 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. days,” as you so snidely assert. They have chosen to continue to offer extracurricular activities, coaching, extra help, and all of the many things that teachers volunteer to do in order to enrich the high school experience for their students.

The teachers of today continue to support and go the extra distance for their students, just as they did when your sons (both of whom were excellent students) attended Fort Frances High School.

Teachers, however, have lost respect for and trust in the school board and senior management, which continues to attempt to erode one of the cornerstones of unionism and the delivery of quality education in our small communities: seniority.

Perhaps you might consider expressing your respect for your craft and your readers by printing a more balanced and accurate column.


Andrew Hallikas

Fort Frances, Ont.

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