Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thank You From the BC Teachers Federation

It was with great pleasure and pride that we welcomed Laurence Grief from Langley Secondary School to our office and warehouse a week or so ago. He came in with copies of their BCTF Newsletter to show us that we were mentioned and thanked us again for the security work that we contributed when they experienced their break in and loss.

Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 24, Number 2, October 2011

Thank you Canadian Direct Insurance and everyone else who helped out my classroom

By Gurpreet Mahil

It is heart breaking when your classroom is broken into and all your computers and the television are stolen. It makes you angry when the attack is against students who have special needs.

But, when a robbery happens a second time and the thieves break in using bolt cutters to do their smash and grab, you feel rage.

My students, who are in the low incidence, dependent handicapped class at Langley Secondary School, could not understand why thieves would target them a second time. They had trouble expressing their feelings but I could feel their sadness and their parents spoke to me about the sleepless nights some were encountering as they tried to process the theft.

As a teacher, after such a horrendous experience, you are left with the tough decision.
Do you say nothing and hope that the school board would see the wrongness of the action, support you with making the insurance claim, and ensure restoration of the equipment?

I chose to take action immediately and contact the press to tell the story. I wanted my students to tell the world that we will push back against crime fuelled by drug addiction.

Everyone needed to know that a wrong had been committed and that we were going to try to restore our classroom.

BCTF Advantage partner, Canadian Direct Insurance responded immediately with a commitment to restore all the computers and the television. They were equally disgusted by the mean-spirited way my students were treated by these thieves.

Best Buy worked with Canadian Direct to process the order and offered their Geek Squad to set up all the equipment.

Telus offered support and provided laptops, and the Geek Squad set them up to be useable in the resource room.

A wonderful Surrey company, RobberStoppers, offered to secure the room and they did so in a way that protected the dignity of the students. Their gift to the class was so wonderful.

The students in my program love soccer and were thrilled when the Vancouver Whitecaps offered support and encouragement to the students.

We held a “restoration celebration” and Colin Brown, chief operating officer, Canadian Direct Insurance, flew down from Edmonton to present the computers and television to the students. He said, “As a community, we struggle together to help each other and that it is important to support the most vulnerable in our society. No child should have to go through this horrible experience.”

Carl Valentine, Vancouver Whitecaps community liaison manager, said, “It is important for the students to know that we care and value their contribution to our society and what they experienced is wrong. We are part of the community and the Whitecaps feel proud to support the courage of the class to speak out about what happened to them.”

My students were guests of the Whitecaps FC on June 18 at the soccer game against the Philadelphia Union.

I was so proud of my class when they hosted the “restoration celebration” for the school and the donors. They presented beautiful signed plaques to each sponsor and we had an enjoyable luncheon.

I want to thank my colleagues at Langley Secondary School for being so helpful and supportive in protecting the rights of my students and I want to truly thank Canadian Direct Insurance and all the other sponsors for helping us.

Gurpreet Mahil, teacher, Low Incidence and Dependent Handicapped Program, Langley Secondary School, Langley.

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Thank you for your kind works Mr. Mahil, we so enjoyed 'the restoration celebration', the kids were great and worked so hard to make it special for everyone involved.

We have been informed by Mr. Greeff that there has been no other incidences and that the class feels much safer. And that makes us feel great!

Karen and John Leyburn

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