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Another year, no word from Safe Schools Manitoba

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It’s hard to believe that a year went by so fast.

Today is the ninth anniversary of Safe Schools Manitoba’s severing all communications with the Winnipeg Free Press.

It was April 21, 2005, that SSM cut us off, while delivering one of the most wretched analyses of my integrity, character, and abilities that I’ve received in 43 years of daily newspapers.

I have nothing for which to apologize.

Since that day nine years ago, the provincially-funded agency tasked with making schools safer for almost 200,000 Manitoba children has not shared with us its positions, programs, events, advice.

Since this time last year, we have a new education minister, James Allum, who provides public funding to Safe Schools Manitoba. Through his silence, Allum, like his predecessors, is apparently OK with Safe Schools Manitoba not communicating with the largest newspaper between Calgary and London.

I continue to look for school safety expertise from Keith Thomas, risk manager for the Manitoba School Boards Association, and to various school division superintendents.

Ironically, Safe Schools Saskatchewan communicates with me on a regular basis, and has invited me to events which, alas, are held in Saskatchewan. I know there was a major safe schools conference in Winnipeg a few weeks back, because so many educators participating in it were tweeting about its benefits.

Sigh.

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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