Monday, January 25, 2016

Rogue school trustee chafes under board's gag order

'I think some people just don’t like when there’s conflict in the press,' says Donna Blackburn.
Ottawa’s public school trustees are in charge of an $850-million budget and schools that mould 75,000 students. Elected officials, accountable to voters. Just don’t ask them any questions.

South-Nepean trustee Donna Blackburn talked to the Citizen last week about a funding shortfall the public board has with its before- and after-school programs. Then she was going to do another interview.

“I got an email from the chair instructing me not to,” she says. “There is some notion that me talking to the press is hurting the district.”

Blackburn had spoken rudely about other trustees. She swore and called some of them whackjobs. She meant to inflame and she did.

But Blackburn’s been elected twice by large majorities: she has a voice and she’s entitled to use it until voters take it away.  She says the word from board chair Shirley Seward wasn’t to please behave herself better, it was to shut up. Do not speak again.  (more...)


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