WINDSOR JUNCTION: Two students at Lockview High School in Fall River are concerned what the impact of a potential teachers dispute with the province may have on their senior year.
Ben Cox and Raquel Wasson both say they support the teachers stance, which is looking more and more like they will be on strike in early December over their demands over improved conditions not being met by the government.
The two both feel a strike will impact on their learning and all important marks, especially since they will determine whether or not they will get in where they want to for post-secondary schooling.
“I’ve seen first-hand the lack of resources the teachers have, not enough textbooks for the whole class, certain things not working, etc.,” said Cox. “I definitely can see the teachers side of things.
“I think the teachers are trying to get a better education system for us, and the only way to do that is by driving home the point that what’s going on right now isn’t working.”
“There’s not enough class sets of some of the textbooks so we can’t take them home, they have to stay in the classroom or they’re outdated,” she said. “If the teachers had more resources they could teach better.”
Speaking before a dance practice inside Fall River School of Performing Arts, Cox said the potential strike is indeed a big deal.
“It’s going to impact our education with us not learning enough to get us through our final courses and exams,” said Cox. “It might have a bigger impact on where we go afterwards for post-secondary school.
“This one strike could cause a ripple effect in our education system.”
He said he and his friends have been left wondering about the last bit of courses for this term.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions,” he said.
Wasson said a strike would put Grade 12 students in Nova Scotia at a disadvantage over others applying to go to the same universities and colleges.
“If I didn’t get those courses or marks in time it could impact me getting in,” said Wasson.
She said they have asked teachers some questions about it.
“They have said for us not to worry about it until it happens, but it’s hard not too,” she said.
Wasson said it’s not just in the classroom activity that will be affected. Extra-curricular activities, like band and sports teams, will come to a stop should the teachers strike.
“We’re kind of frustrated with that possibility,” said Wasson.
Cox said there are a lot of students with anxiety and nervousness as the days countdown to the potential strike date of Dec. 3.
“A lot of my friends and classmates are starting to get nervous and in certain courses they’re a little bit more concerned than others,” he said. “I know a lot of people are asking our teachers what’s going on and why. The teachers are explaining the situation well and we’re understanding it.
“It’s not going to be a good time for anyone I don’t think.”
Wasson feels the Liberal government isn’t treating the teachers fairly.
“They do a fabulous job,” she said. “I’ve had a couple phenomenal teachers who have impacted my life. They should be getting paid more and getting the resources they need to educate us.
“They need to do something about it. The teachers can’t keep going the way they are going, so something needs to be done.”
She is holding out out for an eleventh hour agreement between the two sides.
“I’m hoping they can come to some middle ground so everyone is benefited,” Wasson said.