We are Support Our Students Alberta, also known as SOS Alberta. We are a grassroots public education advocacy organization, and we’d like to send you some holiday wishes for a more equitable, accessible and universal public education in Alberta.
It is incredibly important to us, as a public education advocacy organization to look ahead, to see the writing on the wall, and understand that this government is consistently, and actively trying to limit our access to all public services, to widen inequality and weaken our democracy.
Of course, as a women lead organization, we are concerned with this government’s healthcare cuts and what it will mean for access to women’s health care, to body agency and universal access to medical treatment. As Albertans we are concerned with the implications for rural access to healthcare like abortion or medically assisted dying services. As parents, we worry about our LGBTQ2+ children who may be denied hormone therapy, and we worry about our kids being able to access birth control, STI education and healthcare. As public education advocates, we worry about where this is leading.
We worry about how healthcare issues like conscience rights might infiltrate public education. Will sexual health, gender identity, become a victim of conscience rights? Will the HPV vaccine now widely available through schools become a matter of religious conviction over scientifically proven health initiatives? We cannot ignore that attacks on public healthcare will overlap into public education. Will public healthcare cuts translate to limited access to sexual health education or to in school vaccinations like HPV? Will the war room’s attacks on climate science mean climate change will be excluded from the curriculum? Will teaching evolution become a conscience right?
We urge each and everyone of you to know that this Pandora's Box is meant to divide us. People will ask, why does SOS Alberta care about public healthcare? Why would Friends of Medicare care about public education? Why should I care about his pension or her wage rollback? Because this is just the beginning. Limiting access to public healthcare is an attack on our Human Rights. Underfunding education is a way to widen inequality. Privatizing public healthcare and public education is a way to weaken democracy. We cannot let that happen.
So while we hope each and every one of you have a joyful holiday, we ask you to look ahead to 2020. Make your resolution this year to get more engaged, more involved, and where you can, contribute more donations. Our collective health, education, environment and our democracy are at stake. We will continue forging ahead with our advocacy for public education well into 2020 with more community screenings of Backpack Full of Cash, and pop up protests! And the best news yet, we are launching a new Edmonton Chapter of SOS Alberta! For more information please email [email protected].
A gentle reminder also, that SOS Alberta is a small but fierce non-profit.
We run on passion and donations. Public Education is a right. Your support is a gift.
We wish you all the very best for the holiday season and the New Year!