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Kids eager to get back to class

Sierra Boyer (right), Kaylee Kolenski, Paige Lutes, Mikah Stenhouse, and Aliana Pacheco join their friends from the House of Dwarfs as they make their wish to go back to school known outside of Future Shop Thursday. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Sierra Boyer (right), Kaylee Kolenski, Paige Lutes, Mikah Stenhouse, and Aliana Pacheco join their friends from the House of Dwarfs as they make their wish to go back to school known outside of Future Shop Thursday.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

A love of school has some of Vernon’s youngest students rallying for their right to learn.

Students marched around the north end of town Thursday, hoping their message would speed up negotiations so school can start sooner than later.

“Nobody’s compromising and it’s the kids who are suffering,” said Sherry Lynn Morrical with House of Dwarfs daycare.

The students and parents at House of Dwarfs and Morrical agreed that they wanted to protest the current situation, not taking any sides except the kids’ and parents’. Their overwhelming message, “We love school,” was supported by honks and waves of passing motorists.

“We’ve got some really anxious parents and the kids are excited to go back to school,” said Morrical.

Many parents are worried about what to do with their kids if school doesn’t start Wednesday.

Although the government has said it will pay parents $40 per child for every school day the strike continues, those funds won’t be available immediately to cover any necessary childcare costs.

According to bcparentinfo.ca, “most payments will be processed within 30 days after the month in which the labour disruption ends.”

“These parents, how are they supposed to come up with that money (in the meantime) to pay for childcare?” asks Morrical.

“What if this thing goes on a month?”

That impacts local daycares trying to accommodate parents, filtering down to impacts on local businesses as some parents are forced to stay home with their kids, and in turn impacts the economy, said Morrical.

Along with these and older kids being impacted, there are other students that are feeling the effects.

“There’s all these foreign students coming into the country expecting to go to school next week,” said Morrical.

Both sides have also stated an eagerness to get back to class and Thursday saw mediator Vince Ready meet with the B.C. Teachers Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.

 

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