May 14, 2007
Surrey School Board vice-chairman Reni Masi has responded to incorrect reports broadcast this morning on local CBC Radio newscasts in Vancouver that stated the board has “instructed teachers not to show Al Gore’s global warming documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ until trustees are able to review the Oscar-winning film”.
The erroneous reports also state as a fact that “in a memo to staff, the board says the documentary must first be approved by trustees…”
“The premise of the stories is simply, unequivocally wrong,” says Masi. “The board has never issued a memo to staff regarding An Inconvenient Truth and in fact, the only statements made by trustees about the video clearly indicate it’s expected the video will be made available to schools.”
A Notice of Motion (PDF, 22 KB) from Trustee Heather Stilwell was presented at the Surrey School Board’s public meeting of April 26, 2007. The Notice of Motion is expected to be voted on at the board’s public board meeting on May 31. The proposed motion says:
“That the school district’s Instructional Resources staff ensure that the resource The Great Global Warming Swindle is made available to schools as a companion resource to An Inconvenient Truth so that students can be provided with the range of perspectives associated with the issue of global warming.”
Also, during the April 26 public meeting, Trustee Stilwell indicated support for trustee Reni Masi’s suggestion that the proposed motion include words to the effect that "The Great Global Warming Swindle" video “or similar resources” be made available.
“The staff memo to teachers (PDF, 20 KB) regarding “An Inconvenient Truth” was meant to ensure teachers were aware licensing issues prevent the exhibition of rented DVDs to students, even though the “An Inconvenient Truth” DVD is being donated to schools,” adds Masi. “The district does not have the licensed copies of the DVD as yet, so the video cannot yet be shown.”
A three-member committee of teachers is expected to review the DVD today as part the normal curriculum review process for any new classroom instructional materials.
CBC Radio News has been professional in acknowledging a clarification is appropriate and expected to be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. today.
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Update: On Monday, the Curriculum Review Committee recommended the "An Inconvenient Truth" video as an instructional resource, as per the Surrey School District's regular curriculum approval process. When the DVDs are received by the district, they will be distributed to all secondary schools.
Last Updated: May 15, 2007