Kill the Bill!
It has been heard loud and in clear in the halls of many Ontarian schools. Bill 115 has had a great effect on students, teachers, principals, the Union and countless other people. How much do we really know about this topic that has slithered its way through every hallway of our school?The truth is, not much. We will never truly be able to hear every side of the story, and even when we are being told about it, it always has a hint of perspective to it. Legally speaking, due to the government’s deficit of $14.7 billion, the wages of Ontarian teachers has been frozen and their rights to protest against this wage freeze have been banned.
I took the role of an historian to get to the heart of the matter and opinions; also meaning I conducted interviews. An important strategy to use when investigating this issue is ‘Cause and Effect’. What caused it? With a violation to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the right to protest over the wage freeze was taken away from teachers for the government’s own needs. What was the consequence? Let’s find out.
“We can’t let the extra-curricular part of our life affect the essential part,” a student realizes. In many ways, these words make sense and have been told to us by teachers and parents for years. Focus on school and homework first! But now that we have no choice but to oblige, we wonder whether we have taken our extra-curriculars for granted all this time. “It’s terrible, mostly for the seniors,” an anonymous source mentioned to me. “If they do not fix this, their senior prom and university applications are at risk.”
This being said, it has come to my realization that extra-curricular activities are what give life to our school. It would all seem so robotic if there were no field hockey practices in the morning, Free the Children meetings at lunch, or Glee rehearsals after school. High school would be between the hours of 8:45 A.M. and 3 P.M. for all.
The first few days after the bill had been released in the press, students all over Ontario had begun to protest for their extra-curricular rights. The freezing of extra-curricular activities has been the spark to a flame that McGuinty will need a while to put out.
Now wait a minute. I believe this was about our teachers’ rights, or rather, lack thereof. Their voices have been muted in this situation. “It is an understandable decision,” a student agrees.
“Students, teachers and the board make up a school. The board did not do anything and the teachers’ rights were snatched away. All we have are the students.” Students who do have a right to protest, students who need to understand where their teachers are coming from, and students who would not have given the issue this much of a thought if it had not affected them. But since we are one system, it affects us all.
“This is like the PPC chart I learned about. In order for the teachers to get their point across, our extra-curriculars have to be sacrificed. We’re economics in action!”
In fact, we are leaders and speakers in action. The teachers around VP have been seen sporting black t-shirts with slogans on them that read: “Teachers said yes to a wage freeze. McGuinty said no to human rights.” What a way to speak up when you cannot speak aloud.