HWDSB Trustee Becky Buck discusses reaction to her Vice Presidential appointment

“Hate does not drive out hatred.” Councilor Becky Buck spoke to the Bay Observer in an interview about her recent appointment as vice-chair of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and the aftermath of that appointment. She was discussing an objection to her selection that was made by two student advisers who said they echoed criticism they received largely from the student activist coalition, Hamilton Students for Justice. The coalition said Buck should not have been named after being named in a report earlier this year investigating allegations of racism on the board made by a former student administrator. The report found that during a debate over the removal of Hamilton police from HWDSB schools, Buck used the term “Twitter trolls” to describe people who criticized her on social media over the issue. policewoman. Beck told the Bay Observer: “There was certainly a need to correct some aspects of the Police in Schools program, but I felt it still had value, especially in things like educating young people about human trafficking. humans, a problem that is close to my heart. Beck said that in the weeks leading up to the police vote, all of the directors received a lot of social media traffic, “the backlash has become intense, overwhelming,” she said. “The few screenshots I took of the ‘trolling’ I deleted a few weeks after the meeting because I found it disturbing to see them every time I went to my phone’s photo album. ” However, she recorded one of the tweets which was typical of the response:

“Hate does not drive out hate” … Becky Buck

When asked if she didn’t think the use of the term “Twitter trolls” was justified given the unpleasant personal nature of the comments she was receiving, Administrator Buck disagreed. “I’m sorry I said so. Talking is not my strong suit and I usually write my thoughts down ahead of time, but in this case, I didn’t. I reacted to some nastiness.

A director for the first term, Becky Buck, was elected in 2018 to serve West Mountain Wards 8 and 14, replacing longtime board member Wes Hicks. She easily topped a field of five candidates, garnering 6,800 votes and 61 percent of the total votes cast.

After the Racism Report was released, Becky took a consultant-recommended racial sensitivity training along with other directors, which she said was a big plus. “I want to challenge myself,” she said. “I was grateful to have this training. We had nothing of that nature when we came to power. She is open to the notion of white privilege and considers herself lucky to live in an age when the sky is the limit for women in anything they wish to do. Before proposing for the vice-chair and aware that there could be objections because of the report, she met all of her fellow Trustees who subsequently voted her for the position.

As much as she enjoys the work of a trustee, she admits that there is a climate of fear around the HWDSB table of saying the wrong thing. “It’s scary that in the age of social media everything you say gets analyzed and separated. That if you have a position that others do not agree with, you are (seen) as a hateful person. But that’s part of the public service.

Despite all the controversy, Becky says it’s worth it. “The work in committees is amazing,” she said, noting that she sits on between 8 and 10 committees in work that pays around $ 13,500 per year and will increase by $ 2,500 per year. as vice-president. “You get an appreciation for the work that goes on in the classroom that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. I am delighted to be here.

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