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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

“Students say, ‘no’” chanted at education protest at EDHS

On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of EDHS students left their classrooms for a half-of-an-hour to show opposition the provincial government’s changes to education. “Education is an investment not a cost,” was a slogan on a sign during the education protest.

by Sylene Argent

On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of students at Essex District High School walked out of their class rooms to line Talbot Street to participate in a protested in opposition to changes to the education system that the Ford government announced last month.

  The changes protested include cutting funding to autism programs (with the school’s students wanting to show support to its own STEPS program, which was designed for students with special needs), class size averaging, and the introduction of a four-credit online module for high school students.

  “We disagree with a lot of the changes [Premier Doug] Ford is making,” Caroline Arner said, who is a grade 11 EDHS student. “A lot [of the students] disagree because of the uncertainty.”

  Arner said the cell phone ban from classrooms, also rolled out last month, will limit students’ access to technology. The online module will also, she suspected, cut teaching jobs and possibly affect the availability of teaching positions in the future for when she and her peers graduate.

  The protest was also a way to bring up how the provincial government plans to increase average class sizes. Arner said there is fear amongst students that this could limit one-on-one time with teachers and, again, affect teaching jobs in the future.

  Arner said she and fellow students decided to host the protest for a number of reasons, including the disagreement amongst students in regards to the changes.

  During the protest, the students chanted “Students say ‘no,’” and Arner spoke of how students are not just future leaders, they are today’s leaders as well.

  The students at EDHS were amongst many other groups that held similar rallies across the province last Thursday.   


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