Secondary students to protest education cuts at Cenotaph

UNDER PROTEST- Ontario Premier Doug Ford waves at protestors at Barley Days Brewery in August of 2018. Local secondary students will be protesting the Ford government's changes to education on Thursday with a rally at the cenotaph. (Jason Parks/Gazette file photo)

Local secondary students are expected to join in with counterparts from across the province on Thursday when they walk out of class en masse to protest education cuts introduced by the Ontario government.

Organizer Tallia Epstein confirmed that PECI students would be leaving their classes at 1:15 p.m. and rallying to Picton’s cenotaph before returning to the school at 2:30 p.m.

Across the province, secondary students upset with Premier Doug Ford’s direction on the education file will be making their voices heard in public spaces on Thursday.

It’s unknown exactly how many PECI students will take part.

“Our futures will be directly impacted the proposed cuts and will affect students and their every day lives,” Epstein told the Gazette. “It’s our civic duty to protest things when we see them arising and we know this isn’t  going to benefit us or the future of this province.”

Epstein said students are becoming more aware of the decisions being made by the Ministry of Education and the ones that could impact their learning paths negatively are causing young people to stand up and make their voices heard.

“Students becoming aware that decisions made by this government are impacting them negatively and bing able to step up in this situations and make their voices heard is  a great opportunity and I think fellow students are ready to take this opportunity,” she added.

Teaching staff employee groups have also been making their points through traditional and social media and the PECI student said educators concerns are not lost on her fellow classmates

“We as students are so grateful for the work they do and to provide us with lessons that will shape and guide us towards adulthood,” Epstein said. “Knowing that they are going to be impacted by this, it’s another motoviator to speak up for them as people that we care a lot about.”

On Thursday evening, members of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation District  29 are hosting an event entitled ‘Putting Students First Town Hall Meeting’ at the Picton Town Hall.

The session, which features a presentation by District President Scott Marshall followed by a question and answer period, gets underway at 7 p.m.