Through Bob Spencer, Chairman of the Toronto Board of Education, I received an invitation to speak to the Program Committee of the Board on behalf of Science For Peace and Hiroshima-Nagasaki Relived. I spoke for about 10 minutes, out-lining briefly why the peril of nuclear war is considered to be increasing, what a nuclear war would mean to Torontonians and to human civilization in general, how only public awareness and public protest can reverse the trend to war, and finally the responsibility of a public education Board to inform and involve students in study and discussion of these vital issues. I pointed out the tim-ing relative to UNSSOD II.
It turned out that Trustee, Fiona Nelson, has already taken some initiative in this matter and had established a Committee to deal with it. (Terry Gardner is a member.) Spencer’s motion for action was referred to the Committee and Fiona said she would hold a meeting very soon and invite me to make a presenta-tion. One month later and still no action! Terry will try to find out why the Committee is moving so slowly.
When the Toronto Board of Bea,lth passes the recommendations of its Advocacy Unit, additional pressure will beiput on the Toronto Board to take initiatives with respect to staff/student seminars, curriculum development, etc.
Other than goodwill, there seems to be no specific action being contemplated by other Boards in the Toronto area.
What is probably required is for someone (?) to prepare a short 15 minute presentation replete with good slides and illustrations and to ask every Board in the Metro Area for an audience before their program or curriculum committees. An alternative would be to try to work through the Teachers Federations — but this may be a cumbersome route. In any case, action of this type takes lots of time, needs to be extremely well done, and the usual problem arises — who has the time to do it?