The Kamloops-Thompson school district will be connecting with city council to clarify SD73’s mandate and roles after a recent incident resulted in Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson visiting a high school principal’s office.
According to local media reports, some Sa-Hali secondary school students brought home Naloxone kits after a class presentation on the opioid crisis. An angry parent contacted Hamer-Jackson, who then reportedly visited the school principal.
Heather Grieve, SD73 board chair, said the board of education discussed the matter in a closed meeting.
"We'll end up connecting with mayor and council, because really, the board expressed its concern that its mandate wasn't being respected and wants to return to a more productive relationship with the city,” she said.
“I think part of that is communication just around what our mandate is, and working towards those really positive mutual relationships.”
Grieve added this conversation won't happen publicly.
“It would be safe to say that this topic has generated a lot of media," she said. "We can have very respectful communication and conversations without it being done through media."
Grieve said concerns about something happening within a school are best directed to school administrators to make sure issues are properly addressed, adding there can also be confidentially considerations at play.
“If I got a concern that was raised to me about something that happened in the school, I would actually even go — even as chair of the board — I would go to my operations team or my superintendent of schools, and explain to her what concern had been raised to me and look to operations to do their work in terms of looking into an event," she said.
“Even in my role as an elected trustee, and in our role as trustees, we’re there for governance, not to investigate situations that come up in terms of the community. Our district operation staff are the ones who would go through that, they would really be a part of that process. … I think that it's really just being clear on the roles.”
Grieve said not only would investigating an issue be outside of an elected trustee’s purview, it “would really cloud what needs to happen.”
"The operations staff need to look at it operationally and see what has happened, and ensure that people are having their questions answered in a way that is actually from a place of understanding and knowledge, not from, you know, us trying to do our best to figure out what has happened,” she said.
“It's not our role.”
Grieve said ultimately, the school district wants “the best relationship possible” with city hall.
"We want to be part of solutions and progress within our community and working together is a big part of it,” she said.