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4501 – 52 Avenue
Innisfail, AB T4G 1A8
Phone (403) 227-0060
Fax (403) 227-0061
Principal: C. Jay Steeves
Vice Principal: Gloria Thompson
December 9, 2013
To the Elected Representatives of the People of Alberta:
Recently we brought our grade six students to experience a day at the Legislature as part of the Social
Studies Curriculum. The overarching goal of the curriculum is to instill a sense of respect and desire for
participation in the democratic process. To this end we prepare our students for participation in the Mock
Legislature so that they can have a better understanding of what they see in the Chamber.
The tour guides do an excellent job of teaching the students a standard of respect for what should be
taking place in the house. We learn to be quiet, respectful, and appreciative of the traditions and decorum
of the House.
Two years ago we were dismayed by the lack of respect shown by government and opposition members.
Our students observed eye rolling, talking while another member was speaking, and frequent reprimands
by the Speaker. We were optimistic that our trip on November 5 th, of this year would show our process in
a better light and that events of the previous year were not representative of how our members relate to
each other during session in the Chamber.
Instead students, teachers, and parents were dismayed by the behavior and lack of respect shown by our
elected representatives. In the short time we were in session, we witnessed members tell each other that
they “suck and blow”, motions across the floor from one representative to another inviting them outside
to fight, verbal invitation to fight, and again, numerous reprimands from the Speaker.
Our students did not observe elected representatives working on behalf of their constituents to make a
better Alberta. Instead the lesson that students took away is that behavior that is not acceptable at school
is commonplace in the Legislature.
Reluctantly, we have decided that although we will still visit the Legislature, we will not take our students
into Session. We have reached this decision because we feel the experience contradicts our efforts to
instill a sense of respect and a desire to become active participants in our representative democracy.
Innisfail Middle School Grade 6 Team
Honorourable Gene Zwozdesky
Premier Allison Redford, QC
Ms. Danielle Smith
Mr. Brian Mason
Dr. Raj Sherman