Students hit the pavement to protest teacher job action

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Dozens of students across the Cornwall area walked out of school Tuesday afternoon to protest teacher job action they say is robbing them of sports teams, clubs and dances.

Frustrated students gathered in front of Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School and St. Lawrence Secondary School waving placards and chanting against the decision made by teachers to withdraw from supervising extra-curricular activities.

The teachers are protesting Bill 115, a controversial piece of legislation introduced by the provincial government that unions feel is undemocratic.

Students said Tuesday they feel as if they are caught in the middle and they are fed up.

"Frankly we're not on anyone's side," said one of the CCVS protest organizers, Samantha Carriere, a Grade 12 student. "But we're kind of upset that the teachers are using us against the government.

"We feel for the teachers, but we also know what the government is trying to do. It's just not fair to us."

Those sentiments were echoed across the city at St. Lawrence.

“I don't think it's fair that we're caught in the middle,” said Josh Welsh, a Grade 12 student at St. Lawrence Secondary School. “We're doing this to say that we are extremely upset about this and that we won't be used as pawns.

"There's nothing to look forward to anymore; it seems like students are being put last rather than first.”

Students were out for the entire afternoon, but were expected to return to classes Wednesday.

Carriere told Seaway News school administrators were unlikely to mete out punishment to students who left classrooms for the protest.

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