According to CTV News, approximately 300 students from Smiths Falls District Collegiate skipped school on December 10th, gathered in the school cafeteria to protest a lack of extra curricular activities because of a labour dispute between their teachers and the Ontario government. The students plan to skip classes again on December 11th and possibly for the rest of the week.
In their argument with the government, teachers around the province have withdrawn their volunteer time to supervise soccer, football, clubs and similar out of class activities.
One student is reported to say that ‘students are stuck in the middle of the labour dispute’. That same student started a teacher-supervised Friendship Club, last year, for those who feel bullied and alone at school. Of course, that club has also been cancelled. How ironic is that?
Sadly, the students are bullied by a powerful teacher’s union and a government buried in deficit. Students play the wait-it-out game, sometimes silently, sometimes vocally with the hope that school will soon be a happy place again with a return to normal activities.
Bravo to the students in Smiths Falls for making their voices heard. No one should be a silent victim of bullying.
Mary Carver, P.H.Ec. - Ottawa
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