By Ida Koric
As the labour dispute between the BC Teacher’s Federation and Christy Clark’s Education Ministry marches on, parents and students are battling to have their voices heard.
On Monday, teachers in School District 20 were back on the streets for a second week of rotating strike action, and concerned parent, Shanna Tanabe, sought to coordinate a “Rally for Education” alongside the picket lines.
The purpose of the rally was two-fold for Tanabe who wanted to show teachers that community parents supported their goal of a “fair deal”, and that British Columbians are growing frustrated by the government’s continual disregard for education.
“We are sick and tired of the chronic underfunding,” Tanabe states, “Here in Rossland it really hits close to home because we have seen the result of cuts first hand.”
Rossland has suffered two school closures in recent years, both due to School Board attempts to balance perpetually shrinking budgets.
Attendance at the Rossland event wasn’t what Tanabe had hoped, but she understood many people had to work. She was optimistic about the turn-out at Webster and Glenmerry schools, which had yet to be confirmed.
Based on feedback she had received in person, and on her Facebook page, Tanabe is confident that most parents feel the same way she does.
“Opinions on the actual labour dispute seem to be mixed, but everyone agrees that the government needs to start making education a priority.”
Last week, students from a Vancouver high school started a social media campaign in the hopes of organizing a walk-out for Wednesday, June 4. The trend spread to many districts throughout the province, with last tally at 11,000 students committing to attend.