Thursday, May 14, 2015

After Twenty-five Years, I Won the Argument

     In the 1980's our schools in Alberta got into fund raising in a serious way. Many schools had bought their own buses. This opened things up so that many field trips were available. At the same time the government was reducing funds to education so if schools wanted such things as bands it came out of student's pockets and fund raising.

   Methods of fundraising were the usual activities...bake sales, raffles you name it. About that time bingos offered the opportunity for organizations to act as volunteers to run a bingo. The school had 12 bingos a year and I worked two.

   Another fundraising opportunity came up when Coca Cola and Pepsi would put vending machines in the schools and schools shared some of the profits. Our Principal brought this idea up at a staff meeting. It was more or less a report as we didn't have votes on any issues. I expressed my disagreement on having pop machines in the school. This is ancient history you know the arguments against pop machines. Other teachers had that bored look on their faces which said, "Shut up so we can get out of here." We were also getting vending machines for candy bars and chips. 

    I didn't get very far expressing my opinion at the staff meeting. Since the Principal was a good friend, I paid him a visit in his office. I pushed my ideas. I wasn't going to give up without a good effort. It was the principle of the thing. Using vending machines to get kids to part with their money seemed somewhat unethical. Finally, my Principal said, "You and I will have to agree to disagree." And that was it. I know when it's over.

    Vending machines were installed. Coke was the choice. Buckets of money were made for the school. They even sold me a coke a day. 

   Well now, twenty-five years later, what has happened? Vending machines have been taken out of schools. Many principals fought long and hard to keep the  vending machines. Vending machines were finally removed from schools after a lengthy debate.

    So I take note that it took twenty-five years but I was right all the time.

     No vending machines in this school. This was my first year of teaching in a one room country school.