Peace River (FNIF) Teachers in northern British Columbia endure religious persecution from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.
Two dozen teachers in the Peace River area, most of them Protestants, received notice in a BCTF Newsletter that the organization planned to “nail them to their respective crosses” after they defied union picket lines last spring to continue teaching.
The two dozen are part of an alternate teachers’ group called the “British Columbia Teachers for Association.” President Helen Raham, who represents nearly eight hundred teachers who refuse to endorse the left-wing views of BC’s official teachers’ union, quotes more fully from the newsletter issued during the strike”
Hen this situation is resolved the union will prosecute fully and nail these people to the wall, or perhaps more appropriately, to their respective crosses.”
The reaction of the teachers in the area was that of shock, even from the other teachers who were striking. Wayne Henze was one of the teachers who crossed the picketline. “I think the average teacher was perhaps even quite accepting of us,” says Henze.
The picket was part of a bitter ongoing dispute between the BCTF and the Peace River North School Board. It had become the longest teachers’ strike in BC history.
The teachers who crossed the line felt the well-being of the 180 children in the staunchly Mennonite area was more important than strike action. Brent Eastwood, a non-Christian, was one of those who continued to work. “The main decision was just a strong sense that it was wrong to strike and put students out of school,” says Eastwood. Following the strike the BCTF’s threats did not materialize, but the union would not apologize. Eastwood says area teachers are putting the event behind them.