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LETTER: Students need support not rejection to follow their dreams

Dear Editor;

Open letter to: Sue Keenan B.C. School Sports (BCSS), Teresa Rezansoff, School District 51, and Honorable George Abbott, Rick Davis and Alison Sidow, Ministry of Education, Tim Gayda, SportBC.

Re: Student pursues legal angle to get the right to play volleyball by Mona Mattei on 27 Nov 2011


Sue, I read the Boundary Sentinel and felt compelled to take the time to write you as the president of the BCSS. I don't know this boy or his family. In fact, our children don't even participate in school sports at the moment. We are residents of Grand Forks, B.C.

We do have two children in School District 51 and if these issues faced either one of my children I would be fuming! This boy is willing to live away from his family in order to pursue something he is clearly passionate about. B.C. School Sports is not looking at the bigger picture which is a boy and his love of a sport. Secondly, B.C. should be so lucky to have him develop in our region and we should support his wishes.

High school is a step to his adult life and his potential in the sport looks good based on his passion for it. Support him! Don't throw red tape in his face. Myles Christman deserves an apology and assistance on how to get back on track to his achievements in the sport he loves and the academic education he deserves. I do not wish to hear more stories like this one.

Thank you to SD 51 for supporting Myles Christman. Writing a letter for the case and furthering your end to assist Myles and his family.

Honorable George Abbott, I am very disappointed to hear that your ministry failed to pressure BCSS to allow Myles Christman a right to an education in a high school that would support his dreams and passions in volleyball.

It's really quite a simple decision to make and to lose anymore than a moment's thought takes away from other pressing issues in our schools such as a contract resolution for the teachers. Please send a letter with direction to the BCSS. Further make sure they know that you are listening and don't want to hear further articles of such senseless decisions that crush other B.C. student's dreams.

Rick Davis and Alison Sidow please ensure that, as the Superintendents of Achievement for the Ministry of Education, there is a review of the Myles Christman case of discrimination against rural kids. Clearly Myles Christman has demonstrated achievement or at least the potential for achievement and your department should step in and offer assistance and help sort out the mess.

In summary, our children find their passion, demonstrate their unique skills, and make sacrifices in their path towards achievements. The families of B.C. invest their hard earned income on fostering their children's dreams. There are so many expenses to cover and some are unquantifiable such as time away from other children or their jobs.

We do it because we love them and want the best for their future. We need the support of government and organizations. I understand the need to set rules and policies but we need to hear pleas when families request special consideration.

More families are opting to raise their children in rural areas and they deserve the similar opportunities that urban families have. In the Christman case, the family understood what needed to happen (move Myles to an area in their region that had an active volleyball team that offered the best shot at furthering his skills) and made the necessary arrangements which included a second family opening their home to Myles!

I'm certain the Christman family would like to remain together but for reasons unknown they wish to keep their family's home in Christina Lake. They are making a significant sacrifice.

Please support them by simply allowing the boy to play where he wishes.

I've taken more than an hour to draft this letter which seems to be more than the BCSS gave Myles. I hope to read another article by Ms. Mattei indicating that the BCSS and all agencies are doing what they can to assist Myles Christman and everyone understand that BC children's dreams must not be smothered by bureaucratic red tape.

I take this article to heart as this story could have easily been my children and I would hope others would take the time speak up too.


Kristina Hockley

Grand Forks, BC in the Boundary Region of British Columbia