I wish to express my concern around a recent exchange on the Merritt Secondary School Facebook page (January 22, 2023). In this exchange, which followed a fantastic weekend of high school basketball, public criticism was leveled at one of the local volunteer coaches. As you would hope, moderators removed this negative personal comment promptly, along with my immediate response to it. In normal circumstances, this would be seen as desirable management of unwanted trash talk by an impulsive keyboarder. However, I think the difference here is that the comment was made by the Chair of the Board of Education, our top school trustee, recently re-elected. 

In this instance, I am struck by the potential for conflict of interest where moderators from within the school system are having to manage a comment by the top school trustee to the point of having to remove it. Who gave the direction? Was it removed to protect him or was it removed by someone who was afraid to let it stand? We may never know. In any case, the top trustee has been spared a public duel with many that were deeply offended.

With all that Merritt has been through over the last few years, how uncouth to publicly diminish a volunteer coach in this community. These coaches, of whom I could name many, give countless hours of their own free and family time to provide sports and activity programs that would other wise be nonexistent. One has only to look back as recently as December 2022, where Merritt Secondary hosted the hugely successful 16 team ‘AA’ Girls Provincial Volleyball Championship. This event was entirely run by volunteers, all of whom work for this school district in their day jobs. These people make this school district, district admin and trustees look great and should receive nothing but the highest praise. 

It evades me why a Merritt School Trustee would choose to put Merritt children at risk by alienating even one volunteer coach.

In the end, we remember how people have made us feel. If he misspoke, let apology follow. If he stands by his word, as an elected official, please let it stand for all to see.


Tamara Foster 

(admirer of volunteer coaches )