High school students protest teachers' job action

Jeff Brosseau of the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers' Federation says work to rule is one of the few options teachers have to protest the government.

Public high school students in Windsor held a protest of their own Tuesday.

They were pleading for the return of extra-curricular activities.

Their public high school teachers stopped taking part in the activities more than a week ago in protest of Bill 115, which strips teachers of the ability to strike.

The handful of students from General Amherst and Harrow high schools demonstrated outside the local office of the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers' Federation.

"As a senior, especially, it's a matter of extra help after school; getting accepted to university; reference letters; scholarship opportunities," said student Alex Leroux. "It's important to everyone else because it's prom committee, student council, all sorts of clubs at school, sports teams that keep kids out of trouble."

Taylar Boswell is in Grade 12 and says she's had to drop math because she's not getting the extra help she needs after school.

"I struggle with math but it's something that I need in order to become a police officer," she said.

But the local president of the OSSTF defends his members, who aren't staying behind to help students after school.

Jeff Brosseau says this is one of the few options teachers have to protest the government.

"Every member that participates in extra-curriculars recognizes the importance of it. And I empathise with the students and I totally understand why they'd be frustrated," he said. "But there are no clear solutions and limited possibilities for us to fight back on this."

Public high school teachers this week will vote on holding their own walkout in the new year.

"There are varying opinions out there on what strategies we should have for a fight-back campaign," Brosseau said. "Anything to be done to fight back against Bill 115 is better than doing nothing at all."

The vote will conclude at the end of this week.

More than half the public elementary school teachers in Ontario walked off the job Tuesday in their own protest.

- CBC News


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