MLAPlaydate. Polite, Peaceful, Playful, Powerful Parents & Kids. Info And Photos Of Open Source Activism in BC Education

MLAPlaydate.  Democracy can be fun if you’re imaginative:)

Here is a bit of background on the open source activism online and offline that Quinn Donovan, I @pqpolitics,  & Paul Dayson and many, many other BC parents their children and other citizens made happen online and offline for public education in BC.

Also will list the first day’s media coverage and some tweets with photos of the different MLAPlaydates across BC.

There were 22 MLAPlaydates on the first day, September 22nd 2014.  There are only 85 MLA’s in BC. And there were others on the days after that. Here’s Paul Dayson’s media advisory.

Here’s where the first day’s MLAPlaydates, September 2nd, 2014 happened. A list of BC Liberals & BCNDP MLA’s offices across BC that had BC Parents and their children doing MLAPlaydates, list from the MLAPlaydate blog

  • Suzanne Anton, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview
  • Doug Bing, MLA for Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows
  • Christy Clark, MLA for West Kelowna
  • Rich Coleman, MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove
  • Kathy Corrigan, MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake
  • Adrian Dix, MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway
  • David Eby, Vancouver-Point Greys
  • Peter Fassbender, MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood
  • Scott Hamilton, MLA for Delta North
  • John Horgan, MLA for Juan de Fuca
  • Vicki Huntington – MLA for Delta South*
  • Jenny Kwan, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant
  • Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson
  • Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North
  • Don McRae, MLA for Commox Valley
  • Darryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South
  • Linda Reimer, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam*
  • Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast
  • Todd Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson
  • Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview
  • Laurie Thorness, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope
  • Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour


Here’s Paul Dayson’s chalk photo


Quinn Donovan started this all with his idea of#occupymla  and #occupythem.

Paul Dayson, I & others on Twitter started engaging with & amplifying his idea.

Paul came up with the chalk idea and this cool inspiring poem to go along with it to set the tone.

I thought concept of parents bringing the kids to MLA’s offices to politely, peacefully and playfully discuss their concerns about public education and use the MLA’s offices as daycare centers for their kids was brilliant.

BC Liberals MLA’s are the people responsible for their decade long holy war on ADHD & others special needs & ESL kids and teachers & BCTF. They caused this mess. They’re not feudal royalty, though some act like it, and they should be accountable to BC parents and other BC citizens.

Never be afraid to ask questions of your elected representatives in a democracy. Don’t be shy at calling them out when they don’t answer them or they try to weasel out of your question with some phoney non answer, because you’re not a donor to their party, bcliberals or bcndp.

But I thought the occupy language wouldn’t work so well with parents bringing children to their BC MLA’s office to discuss their #bced concerns, because some people would associate #occupy with police & teargas & wouldn’t bring their kids.

So I came up with the term MLAPlaydate.

It wildly exceeded all our expectations. I told Paul that even if we had one MLAPlaydate it would be a win, because you can build on that. We did not expect 22 MLAPlaydates on the first day. But we were very happy that they were plus all those media mentions too.

Here’s Paul’s Chalk tweet photo combining all 3 hashtags which we’d later just use MLAPlaydate

MLAPlaydate was open source activism. It combined online and offline organizing and they both amplified each other. There was no centralized command and control or hierarchical structure.

No top 3 messages. The messages was politely, peacefully, playfully tell your MLAs/ their staff/social media/the media/the public your concerns about Public Education in BC. And boy they sure did:)

Many BC parents organized on Twitter, on the public timeline and/or DM, some on Facebook

some by phone & email. Maybe some over a cup of tea.

There was some facilitation to help people organize their own events. No hard and fast rules, no you must stay within the “message box”, but some suggested ideas and resources. Here were some resources provided on the MLAPlaydate Blog:

How to organize your MLAPlaydate

I’m not a parent and I don’t coach children or teens with ADHD. I don’t even coach university students with ADHD. I just coach adults at work, home and in their relationships over the phone since 2003.

But so many of my Adult ADHD clients and people who attend my Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group have complained to me about how their ADHD children are neglected discriminated against in BC Schools.

See the statistics of ADHD, the biggest group of special needs kids in school Higher rates of suicidal thinking, attempts, addictions, suspensions & dropouts.

ADHD is 80% genetic, and parents of ADHD kids often have ADHD and are often to stigmatized to go public complain to politicians & media who both ignore or demonize them because they don’t complain.

Because they don’t publicly complain the BC govt doesn’t give ADHD adults and kids proper diagnosis, treatment and accommodations and the opposition BCNDP MLAs ALL continually refuse to demand they do. The ADHD Catch 22.

BCliberals refuse to stop ADHD discrimination in schools BCTF did not demand it in negotiations and I’ve asked numerous BCNDP MLA’s to condemn it but all refuse. So if BCNDP won they’d just continue ADHD discrimination.

Here’s a list of the media coverage just of day one, September 2nd, 2014 of the MLAPlaydates from the MLAPlaydate blog. There were MLAPlaydates up until today Wednesday, September 17th

September 2

Vancouver CourierParents make a date with MLA

Georgia Straight – BC Teachers’ strikes: Parents bring kids to MLA offices for MLAPlaydate protests

CTV News Vancouver – Where’s Christy? Parents rally for strike resolution at Premier’s office.

The Province – Parents forced to cope as BC schools stay closed

The Province blog – Parents, students protest by showing up at polticians offices for ‘MLA Playdates’

24hrs – Backlash begins over empty classrooms

Global TV – Frustrated parents, students and teachers descend on MLA’s offices for ‘play dates’

Chilliwack Today – UPDATE: Laurie Throness should resign

News1130 – Parents setting up ‘MLA playdates’ to send message about teachers dispute

StarFM 98.3 – Parents taking fight to local MLA offices

The Progress – Parents rally in support of striking teachers

Coquitlam Now – More protests as strike goes on

Maple Ridge News – Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows parents protest school closures

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times – Parents and children protest outside Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA office – The first day of school in BC looks different this year

Herscoop – Parents protest: No school for western Canadian kids

Simi Sara Show, CKNW

Breakfast Television City TV

Kelowna Daily Courier – Disappointing day for eager students

CFJC TV – BC Teachers dispute: Parents protest

Castanet News – Parents rally outside Premier’s office

Daily Courier – Kids join protest outside Premier’s West Kelowna Office

CBC Daybreak – Parents in Kamloops to protest today

Kamloops Today – Kamloops MLAs’ offices target of education labour dispute protest

Nelson Daily News – Tuesday was anything like normal first day of school as more than 500 rally for public education

Nelson Star – Both sides of teachers strike unhappy with breakdown in negotiations

Alberni Valley News – Alberni parents, student and teachers rally in support of the BCTF

Comox Valley Record – Crowd gathers for teachers rally in front of MLA office

The Montreal Gazette – School kidswork on signs outside Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Suzanne Anton’s office during an “MLA Playdate” on Tuesday.

Here are some of the many tweets and photos of the many MLAPlaydates. Some people didn’t tag them with #MLAplaydate so I & others tagged them and retweeted them sometimes with a bit of commentary:)

I found them on a variety of Twitter searches and of course from some of the posts on the MLAPlaydate blog.

Students also did their own rallies under the hashtag #studentvoice

Rockridge students outside MLA office in Horshoebay

Posted by Lauren Bauman on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Concern trolls and regular trolls comments will be deleted. Life’s too short:)

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