If you’ve read this paper lately, you will have seen my name mentioned many times. My name is Sarah Wethered and I’m president of the New Westminster Teaches’ Union.
Prior to becoming NWTU president, I was a teacher-librarian at New Westminster Secondary School for 20 years.
I worked hard to create a safe, caring and welcoming space for students. I selected novels for our collection that have characters that were reflective of the ethnic backgrounds of our students.
I ensured that our LGBTQ+ students had novels and non-fiction that helped them realize they weren’t the only queer teenager in the world.
I purchased picture books so that our diverse learners had books written at their intellectual level. I sponsored clubs to provide a safe and welcoming space for our students on the fringe. I helped produce RockSolid every year to combat bullying.
I was backstage at every drama, dance, and musical performance, ensuring that students were safe while in the Massey Theatre dressing rooms, thus earning the nickname “Backstage Mama.”
I dedicated 20 years of my life to ensure the safety of your children. Now, I’m asking for you to help ensure the safety of my members. I’m asking parents to help make our schools safer by sending their children to school wearing a mask.
Teachers aren’t allowed to make it a rule that a mask is to be worn in a classroom. We are told that this is a parental choice. All school staff work tirelessly every day to ensure your children’s safety. I ask that you do the same for everyone in a school.
Sarah Wethered, New Westminster