The school is open and back in business for now. A ruling from the Labour Board forced teachers in Rainbow District School Board to end their strike and go back to their classrooms. Because the school year was in jeopardy for students, back-to-work legislation was also passed by the government which means MSS teachers will not be able to strike for the rest of the school year. There are mixed feelings coming from students, but the majority of students do have an issue with being forced back to school.
Jordan Pitawanakwat, a Grade 10 student at MSS says, “I don’t mind being back in school, but I have a problem with not being told earlier. Students and parents/guardians were told Friday the earliest and we came back, surprisingly, on a Wednesday. It sucks for the students who were dedicated to a summer job.”
Skyler Danville, also a Grade 10 student at MSS says, “I honestly think it’s a waste of time going back now, just because we’re not doing anything during the four weeks we’ve got left. We’re not doing exams or culminatings, and teachers aren’t too happy about the whole situation considering. They’re not getting what they wanted out of it. It’s ridiculous. Teachers are also struggling to cram everything in that they wanted us to learn before summer break. A lot of students have jobs that they need to be at as well, but are now being forced to go back to school so really it was pointless applying, unless they’ll be hired back when schools over.”
Nick Secord, a Grade 11 student says, “Well personally, students would benefit from a longer summer. Most of us have full time jobs and going back to school really screws us over. I know people who moved for the summer already and now are screwed at getting back. Personally, I vote let the teachers strike and go back to school after summer.”
A Grade 9 student says, “While I am supportive of the teachers, I am extremely disappointed that none of the parties involved were willing to budge. Despite the fact that there are future benefits, the strike has done nothing but affect students’ lives–the only people who lost in this were us. We all lost a huge amount of learning time, and many of us lost jobs. Giving us only a few hours notice of our return to school was ridiculous. However, we as students need to prove we are capable of handling this with more maturity, and educate ourselves with what is really happening instead of spewing out incorrect facts or attempting to take immature and idiotic actions. While this has been nothing but unfair to us, and was not for our good, handling it poorly will get us nowhere. It is what it is.”
Since there is only four weeks left of school, there are not going to be exams, or exam exemptions. Most students were relieved to hear that those huge studying nights were no longer an issue.
There were lots of plans to support the teachers and their right to strike, including a petition to voice opinions to higher powers. As buses pulled into the school every morning there were civilians holding flags and signs up high, trying to support OSSTF.
Graduation is on Thursday, June 11 at 7 pm. The ceremony will be held at the high school. A huge congratulations to all of this year’s graduates.
Ms. Zahnow, principal of MSS, has declared that there will be a gender neutral bathroom in MSS. The new bathroom will be available at the beginning of the next school year. It will be in the C corridor of the school, on the first floor, accessible to all people, female or male.
Students Council are encouraging students to keep focusing on their school work and finishing the school year. They met last Monday to discuss some new plans to make the rest of the year fun.
So with the school year back under way, the students of MSS are trying to make their voices heard, and support their teachers. Stay golden, Mustangs. ‘Til next time.