VSB investigation into harassment in the workplace

This is the media release with my response to this investigation.

The Vancouver School Board (VSB) released the full investigator’s report that found bullying and harassment existed at the VSB.

Former Trustee Janet Fraser, elected as a Green Trustee in November 2014, believes that Trustees should be subject to full public scrutiny as to how they undertook their governance role. As such she contacted the VSB to inform them that she consents to the disclosure of her personal information in this report. She has received confirmation that any personal information relating to her has been disclosed.

“This report concludes that the partisan behaviour of some trustees prevailed over trustees working collaboratively as a board and with VSB staff, which created a toxic and unsustainable environment for staff,” she noted.

“The report noted specific incidents where certain trustees seemed inclined to follow a political agenda rather than seek information on which to base their decisions and engage in thoughtful discussion to assist their decision making. With hindsight I realise I could have spoken up, especially in public meetings, to attempt to curb trustees’ disrespectful behaviour and to try to ensure a safe and respectful workplace for all VSB staff,” said Fraser.

“As a newly elected trustee, I stepped into a pre-existing board dynamic that I found overly partisan and very challenging to work in. I did not fully appreciate the impact that inappropriate behaviour by other trustees was having on VSB staff and, looking to the future, it will be the responsibility of all future trustees to create and maintain a safe and respectful workplace.”

Janet Fraser’s focus as a trustee was always serving Vancouver’s students; working to give them the best opportunities for educational success and making decisions in their best interests.