September 09, 2014 - 11:00 AM
VERNON - Teachers have been glued to their picket lines for days, but this week, there were some new faces on the block.
Vernon parents, joined by students, took to 27 Street Monday afternoon with protest signs calling for an end to the strike.
“The teachers have been walking the picket line long enough, I think the parents and the kids have to start saying this is affecting us and our education,” protester Shannon MacNeill says.
As long as the strike continues, MacNeill says she and other parents will continue to protest.
“I’d like to see them get back to the table, even if it’s not perfect, get the kids back in school and keep talking about it,” she says.
Like many parents, MacNeill is frustrated with the lack of progress in resolving the labour dispute. Her oldest son is going into grade 11 at Clarence Fulton Secondary, which operates on a quarter system.
“He loses double time during the strike, each day is like two days,” she says.
Meanwhile, her youngest son is supposed to be going into a brand new grade 7-9 program called the Vernon Community School. Operated out of Clarence Fulton, the project based learning program is off to a rocky start.
“There’s a lot of apprehension because we’re not sure how it’s going to work.” MacNeill says. “We’re taking a bit of a leap of faith.”
Steve Simon, a teacher and a parent, has a daughter going into the new community school.
“You want to have a strong start to a new program and this is not a strong start,” he says.
As a parent, Simon feels frustrated and at times helpless.
“But that’s what parents need to know — they’re not helpless. They can do something. The teachers have been out for a long time, everybody is used to seeing them out there. It’s time for parents and students to step up,” he says.
The B.C. Teachers' Federation is continuing to push the government to agree to binding arbitration, and will hold a vote with its members on the topic Wednesday.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014