Students protest loss of public school extracurriculars
By Bianca Bykhovsky
Students across the GTA are expressing their frustration with the ongoing battle between Ontario teachers and the provincial government.
Students are upset at the loss of extracurricular activities in the wake of Bill 115 (the Putting Students First Act). Many Ontario school students are planning protest activities to make their feelings known.
The Toronto Star reports students at Brampton Centennial Secondary School and Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School in Mississauga have planned a walk out for today. Centennial Senior Public School is trying something new, a silent protest, where they will refrain from communicating with the teachers.
Noah Parker, communications officer with the Ontario Student Trustees Association (OSTA), told Humber News OSTA is glad that students are concerned and informed on this issue.
“OSTA is in no way affiliated with the protests, but does continue to push for the continuation of extra-curricular in schools,” Parker said. “OSTA is glad that talks of parents taking over extra-curriculars are happening, but hopes whatever is necessary to keep students the priority, is done.”
Parents have begun volunteering their time at some schools in order to keep extracurricular activities alive but their efforts are being rejected by school boards. Carla Pereira, manager of communications for the Peel District School Board, said in order for parents to do this a staff sponsor is required for liability reasons if a student is injured.
Fundraising efforts at schools are being affected by the loss of extracurriculars as well.
“Last year the teachers and students of Peel District School Board raised over $289,000 for United Way of Peel Region,” said Shelley White, CEO of United Way of Peel Region, in a statement. “They were one of our top fundraising organizations.”
Parker said there are rumours of a student protest being held Saturday at Queens Park.