Teachers’ Strike Affects All Of Us

I had my first slo-pitch game of the year last night and we sat around after the game to get to know each other a bit better over an iced tea (as slo-pitch players do). When my new teammates found out what I did for a living, one of them said, “I guess you are one of the few people that are happy about a teachers’ strike!”

Actually, we are not happy about a strike. It affects our students by disrupting the scheduled extra-curricular activities and the participation of competitors from all schools.

Our junior boys’ rugby team has won all 4 of their ROPSSAA games. Their Tuesday game vs. John Fraser was cancelled and their big game versus also-undefeated Lorne Park today did not happen. If sports do not re-convene in the Peel schools, there are only 2 Catholic schools in the league; we have played the only one in our division and our boys may have played their last official game of the season. The senior rugby boys have played the only Catholic school in the league and might also be done. The boys’ soccer team is also in first place but now have no games scheduled. Girls’ soccer and girls’ rugby have only one game to play. Yesterday’s junior badminton match was cancelled and after tomorrow’s game against St. Francis Xavier, there will be no more games if the job action continues. The coaches of all these sports are finding exhibition games or tournaments to keep their season going but we would rather be playing within the regular ROPSSAA framework.

Competition in extra-curricular activities for our students is also affected. Our high school mock-trial team will have its regional competition on Friday, but will be missing participants competing from schools of the boards who are on strike. We have an elementary student participating at the Canada-Wide Science Fair next week who will be accompanied by one of our science teachers, while a volunteer chaperone had to be recruited to allow the students from the public board to participate as part of the group from the Peel region.

We hope that a solution is negotiated that will allow students and teachers to return to their school, and to their classes and extra-curricular activities, thereby allowing our sports and extra-curricular activities to proceed as planned with participants from all schools.

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

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