WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - Police-Free Schools Winnipeg (PFSW) is formally extending an offer to Winnipeg School Division (WSD) to help livestream its board meeting tonight if WSD is once again unable to figure out a technical solution to the problem.
PFSW is a group of parents, education workers, and community activists who are organizing to remove police from schools. As recently reported on by the Winnipeg Free Press, the WSD board has repeatedly failed to livestream its meetings or post videos of the meeting online after the fact, despite the other five school boards in Winnipeg managing to do so.
The WSD’s explanation for this was “we don’t have the technology to be able to broadcast.” This is an odd claim given that the school division, the largest in the province, started livestreaming its meetings in 2015 following a requirement by the province to improve transparency. Given that all that is required to livestream a meeting is a smartphone with an internet connection, PSFW is offering to send a member of the group to the meeting to livestream it to the group’s YouTube channel so that people can watch it.
Public meetings should be made accessible at all times, especially during a global pandemic that greatly restricts the ability for people to attend and participate. The WSD board is in the process of debating many important issues, including the presence of police in schools and the renaming of a school currently named after a white supremacist. It is incumbent on the board to ensure that parents, education workers, students, and community members can watch these debates.
If invited to attend and livestream the meeting, the PSFW member will closely follow all public health recommendations including wearing a mask and socially distancing, as well as any other requirements the board may desire. The resulting video will be available on the group’s YouTube channel for anyone to watch or share.
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