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Stand up and be counted 

To the editor,

I wonder if Darren Watts' letter to the editor in the March 2 issue, in which he asserts that Doug Sparks' new seat was originally going to be at the front of the table, doesn't miss the point? Perhaps when mediation is completed we'll have answers to the questions that remain. For example:

If the rearranged seating was in fact inspired by Grace Walker's desire not to sit next to Sparks anymore, and was carried out for lack of a better (and less underhanded) way to address the conflict, does it really matter whether his new seat was at the front of the room, the end of a horseshoe or alone on the upper deck of the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry?

And did Walker really request the seat change and then go on the record with reporters declaring that Sparks' refusal to sit in his new seat was a waste of time? If so, did she lie to the media and the public in omitting the fact that she'd instigated the move herself, declaring instead to believe the opposite: "It doesn't matter where we sit"?

Doug Sparks should not be ashamed of himself for drawing a comparison to Rosa Parks. There is a comparison to be made. Perhaps more importantly, though, if we try to shame him for it, and for standing up for what he believes, we say to children today: don't dare try to be a hero, to emulate the people you admire or claim to have even a little in common with someone who was once ordinary and then went on to change the world, lest you draw ridicule from those people who know better than to aspire to greatness themselves. And where does that leave us?

By Mary Pedersen


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