A local mother is sharing her concern and disappointment with signs posted near an Okotoks high school.

The sandwich board, displayed on the driveway of a residence across from the school, bear messages insulting and criticizing teachers, with one side "free new parking in front of small doors, can't fix stupid," with the other side calling for teachers to be "jailed for putting union signs in our school windows."

One local parent of children who attend the school, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the signs are only doing harm, and not just to teachers.

"I do teach my own children that if we see something, we say something, and I believe that some of the disinformation that is being shared on the signage is having a negative impact on students, teachers, and community members. I have questions about the disinformation published on the signage, and I wonder what is the purpose? I also wonder, as Okotokians, aren't we better than this?"

She says the signs started popping up during the previous school year, and have been switched out intermittently, sometimes with multiple signs being displayed at once.

Okotoks teacher signOne of the signs that was previously displayed. (Photo submitted)

She's concerned about the message it sends to students about communicating their ideas in a respectful way.

"I do feel it's offensive, rude, and demeaning. It's targeting teachers. My children's teacher spends more time with them during the day than I do, and my own child has said to me that seeing those signs before entering the building is a yucky way to start their day."

This kind of anti-teacher rhetoric is something she's seen a rise in over the last few years.

"I do wonder if the owner of the signs has ever spoken to a teacher and asked them what it is that they do in a day, and I do wonder where the publisher of the signs gets their information. From what I've seen on the news and through social media, the Alberta Teacher's Association does not share derogatory or offensive information about teachers or their practice."

She's also concerned with the vitriol present in the signs' messaging, something she's also seen increasingly online, and the reason she's hesitant to speak out about it on local social media groups.

'It's unfortunately a sign of the times. It's very easy to type or write something and avoid having a conversation...  If I were to post something on the town rant and rave page, let's say, within seconds I'd be called a 'sheep" and a 'snowflake,' names galore."

"I guess I would just pose the question to my fellow community members, why are we allowing a specific group of people who live, work, and contribute to our community to be subject to disinformation and borderline targeted hate speech? It's just mean, and if we've learned anything in the last five or six years, it's that kindness is what always works best."

auction banner