LOCAL TEACHERS UNIONS RESPOND TO PROVINCE
In response to a recent student walkout to protest provincial cuts to education, Karen Bratina, President of the TLETL and Colin Matthew, President of OSSTF District 15 sent a letter to Larry Hope, Director of Education for the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. It reads
“Public education is a right of all Ontarians. Teachers and education workers are highly trained professionals who work every day in the best interests of their students. Given both the importance of an educated populace and the cost of public education the people Ontario deserve the facts when it comes to their education system including the integrity and professionalism of the teachers and the leadership, both locally and provincially.”
“On April 4th over 100,000 students walked out of more than 700 Ontario schools to protest the current government’s agenda including changes to the health curriculum, deep cuts to OSAP, and the recently proposed changes to class sizes and e-learning. These were student organized and student lead protests.”
“On the evening of April the 4th the Minister of Education, on the official ministry website, dismissed the activism of the student organizers and attempted to spin a false narrative about the role of teachers and teachers’ unions. Specifically she said teachers are, “enabling students to skip classes. And even when students are in class, too many teachers are choosing to use student as a captive audience for the union’s political agenda”. Minister Thompson went on to say that she “expects all boards, to take action to discipline anyone who abandons their classroom responsibilities”.
“We, the teachers of Trillium Lakelands District School Board, call on the Director of Education, Larry Hope, to set the record straight and reassure the public that not only were no teachers disciplined with regards to the student walkout but that both the School Board and the teachers of TLDSB continue to act in accordance with the standards of their profession and work in the best.”