200 students protest in front of Guelph MPP's office
Published Monday, December 17, 2012 6:30PM EST
Students took to the streets in Guelph on Monday, marching the block of Woolwich Street in front of the office of Liberal MPP Liz Sandals.
About 200 students from several Guelph-area high schools participated in the protest, which organizers say was designed to voice students’ concerns about losing extracurricular activities due to the ongoing battle between teachers and the provincial government.
“We’d like our extracurriculars back. All this has been taken away from us without any of our say,” said Grade 10 student Ethan Bersche.
“Even though Bill 115 is called ‘Putting Students First,’ we haven’t really seen that in any situation.”
Students say they’re hurt by the loss of extracurriculars, as participating in sports teams and theatre programs helps their chances of being accepted to university. They say they’re worried about their future and frustrated their voices haven’t been heard.
Holding some of the same red signs held by Upper Grand District School Board teachers who staged a one-day strike last week, some students said they sympathize with their teachers.
“We also think that what the government’s doing with the bill is wrong for the teachers, taking away their collective bargaining,” said Grade 11 student Jeffrey Chong.
Sandals was not in her office Monday and did not speak to the students. She said if they want to return Tuesday, she’ll talk to them then.
Students at Hespeler Public School in Cambridge are planning to demonstrate outside their school Tuesday morning.