HALIFAX – A fundraising group at Beechville – Lakeside- Timberlea school agreed to pull an advertisement paid for by a local liberal MLA after teachers at the school took issue with it.
Lori Ann Farris, a member of the school’s Parent-Teacher Coalition, says a flyer was to be sent home with students reminding parents of the need for donations to “class basets”, a fundraiser as part of the upcoming Spring Fair.
But the flyer featured a paid advertisement for Timberlea-Prospect MLA Iain Rankin, and Farris says she was contacted by the school and told it would not be sent out over “political concerns” from teachers.
“They called with concerns, we said no problem,” said Farris. “They actually told me the flyers had gone in the recycling, they would not send that out. To our knowledge those flyers with Mr. Rankin on the back had never been sent out with the kids.”
Farris says the same flyer – complete with the Rankin ad – was successfully sent out last year at this time. The advertisement attempts to be non-partisan; there’s no mention of the provincial liberal party and it’s black and white to avoid the red colour usually associated with the party.
The $500 paid by Rankin for the ad is no longer expected by the coalition according to Farris, which was slated to help set up the Spring Fair fundraiser.
“That does put a little hampering into our initiatives of helping to raise those funds, which help our kids with field trip expenses, events for the schools and supporting our teachers,” Farris noted.
Rankin has confirmed to NEWS 95.7 he does not plan to ask for the money back, instead giving it to the group as a donation.
President of the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union Liette Doucet chose not to comment on the matter, only saying “it’s not the [union’s] position to give direction to teachers at this point.”