My name is Kim Doyle Thorsen, and I am eager to be your school trustee for Ward E. First, I acknowledge that I live and raise the next generation on the land of the displaced Papastew Nation and colonized Treaty 6 Territory known as amiskwaciwâskahikan (Cree for Beaver Hills House).
I am a Queer woman with two children currently attending school in the Edmonton Public School Division. I am a parent of an autistic child and both my children are enrolled in alternative programs: Spanish Bilingual and Mandarin Bilingual. I have been a member and secretary for the parent association at my children’s schools.
My career background is in textbook publishing; specializing in Indigenous Studies, Social Studies and French resources for Alberta schools. In that capacity, I’ve also worked with Alberta Education curriculum developers. I am an Amnesty International Canada Fieldworker, providing human rights training and advocacy support. I also have experience teaching overseas in Japan.
My Trustee Platform
Your voice: I am running for school trustee because I want to advocate on issues that I believe are important for education, but I also want to advocate for YOU and your children. Your voice is essential.
In classroom materials, teachers’ language, library content, and online resources, representation matters. Seeing people who look, act, and experience life like them in school resources helps children feel included and respected. Likewise, children and families need to see representation in staff and leadership in their schools to combat sexism, racism, homophobia, and other bias.
EPSB must push for the restoration of funding from our provincial government to reduce class sizes, ensure safety and stability of school buildings, and to provide our kids with the technology and equipment they’ll need for success in the future. Currently, one of the greatest inequities is the distribution of AGLC funds. Schools that have parents with time and resources to volunteer for organizing and working casinos earn enormous sums; schools where parents do not have that free time or access to childcare are left out. I would advocate for AGLC funds to be distributed evenly across schools and AGLC should dispense with the requirement for volunteers to “earn” these funds.
No Public Funds for Private Schools
All taxpayer money must support public education, not private schools for the wealthy. There should be no public funds for private schools, nor for religious education.
No Police Presence in Schools
BIPOC and trans/non-binary students report fear and bias from the School Resource Officer program. It should be eliminated. The School Resource Officer program has been suspended for the 2020-2021 school year. I would vote in favour of ending the program altogether.
Mental Health Resources
In-school support should be made available, including addiction and homelessness support.
Inclusive Education Support
In-school support must be made available for disabled children, including autistic children, etc, including the funding of Educational Assistants.
I would advocate for Indigenous studies to be a graduation
requirement. EPSB needs to invest in Indigenous language programs
relevant to this part of Treaty 6.
I’d also advocate for support for Indigenous students, including decolonization of content, acknowledgement of past and current injustices, language support, poverty resources, and support for Indigenous methodologies to be implemented.
I believe in inclusive sex education which focuses on consent and includes LGBTQ2SA+.