Let's Get Jennifer McManus back at Emily Carr Public School

Let's Get Jennifer McManus back at Emily Carr Public School

634 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
Thames Valley District School Board

Why this petition matters

Started by Yolanda Winston

There are many layers to this issue, so I will try to be as concise and to the point as I can.

As an educator with 21 years of experience, Jennifer McManus is well known by many.  She has worked with hundreds of families, many of which remain close to her.  Young and old.  Her love for her students, the relationships she builds with her families and her passion for teaching and learning, shines through in all she does.  She passionately loves her job.  Currently, she is employed with TVDSB and works in the North West part of London Ontario.

Unfortunately, sometimes really wrong things happen to these special people.  This is why this petition has been started.

During the last lockdown in the spring of 2021, when the students and teachers moved to online learning, Jennifer McManus experienced an accusation of discrimination by a disgruntled parent.  To know Jenn, is to know that this couldn't be farther from the truth.  The accusation was based on instructions that she gave to her students, to get a drink of water after a stretch break.  The parent took offence to this, as some students might have been fasting for personal/religious reasons.  Moreover, Jenn's encouragement to families to keep a normal morning routine, and to log on in a timely manner each day, was also considered discriminatory to those students who may have had a late night, again for personal/religious reasons.  And, she was allegedly at fault for not celebrating some religious holidays to the same degree as others.  An absolutely false accusation.

To be clear, the actions above are not any different from the regular routines of the in-person school day.  Getting a drink after gym class and being encouraged to arrive at school, on time, are directions that all teachers communicate to their students daily.  Students continue to eat snacks and lunch and visit the water fountain at school regardless of other student's religious reasons for not doing so.  Individual beliefs are respected and embraced.  Period.

These complaints have been documented and formally written up.  Thames Valley District School Board concluded that Jenn's conduct was discriminatory in nature.  Although she was questioned, a thorough investigation did not occur.  There was no evidence provided.  There were no witnesses consulted.

Although there are many other layers to this case, the end result is that this beloved teacher, Jennifer McManus, is still not back in the classroom.  Inexplicably, the Board has decided to transfer her to a new school.  This is deeply disappointing for not only her, but for the entire school community.  Over the past 6 years, Jenn has built strong relationships with the community and is more than well-loved by all.  She is adored by the students and has close friendships with the staff.  She is an enthusiastic leader in the school, who not only coaches school teams, but also directs the popular school shows.  On many occasions she has commented on how much she loves this community because of  it's diversity.  By transferring her, not only is TVDSB uprooting all that she as established for herself at Emily Carr Public School, but this action is also incredibly punitive.  Jennifer McManus is being punished for doing nothing more than her job to the best of her ability.  Nothing is accomplished by transferring her, and out of principle, it is wrong.

And, here we are.  An exemplary teacher being punished.  Maybe even terminated?  For doing nothing wrong.

The charges above are trivial.  They are unfair and unjust.  It is a situation that has been handled very poorly.  The Board's actions don't add up.

Jennifer McManus' conduct in the classroom is about love, kindness, fairness, inclusion and respect.  We know that hundreds of families of all backgrounds, that have had the privilege of working with her, would agree.

We would love to see her back at Emily Carr Public School as soon as possible.

Please consider signing and sharing this petition, to let the Thames Valley District School Board know that you don't approve of their actions.  We need a proper investigation, with evidence and witnesses.  We want to know the truth.

We want Jennifer McManus back at our school, and we will fight to keep her.

634 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!