Grade 2 Beairsto Elementary students Alyssa Haber (right) and Sadie Mullin join other local students in front of the Vernon Courthouse Monday in hopes of ending the labour dispute.

Grade 2 Beairsto Elementary students Alyssa Haber (right) and Sadie Mullin join other local students in front of the Vernon Courthouse Monday in hopes of ending the labour dispute.

Kids rally to get back to class

Students from various schools and grades turn out to protest school disruption



Not wanting her kids to fall behind, Kazia Mullin is doing what she can to home-school her three children during the ongoing strike – but she admits, she is no teacher.

“Nothing that I am doing is replacing the value of the teacher and the classroom experience,” said Kazia Mullin, who, like her kids, just wants school to start.

That was the message more than a dozen students, ranging from Grade 2 to 12, made clear on the Vernon Courthouse steps Monday.

“We want to go back to school,” said Alyssa Haber and Sadie Mullin, who can’t wait to see their friends whenever they get to start Grade 2 at Beairsto Elementary.

“I want to go to school because I’m bored,” said Carson Armitage.

Grade 11 student Reid Folk adds: “I’m here to show my support for students wanting to go back to school, me too, especially me, because I’m in high school. It’s really affecting all of us.”

Binding arbitration sounds like a really good idea, said Kazia Mullin, but if that can’t happen then more needs to be done on both sides.

“I just really would like both sides to sit down, put the kids first, get back to school, get back to work,” said the mom, as she proudly watched her kids fight for their education.

Most of the students rallying Monday are from the new, yet to start, Vernon Community School, at Clarence Fulton Secondary.

Parent Steve Simon said this was a way of not only getting a message across, but also a way to get the students active.

“Even with the strike going on we think the kids need to be active. That action can take the form of something that’s topical,” said Simon.

A few parents and the approximately 15 students met at the Vernon library first to draw up their signs before taking a stand to say they care about what’s happening.

“They’d rather be in school,” said Simon. “They all like summer, but they want to be back in school, it’s where all their friends are and despite what you think about kids, they know this is where learning happens.”

And the students were happy to do something constructive with their extended summer time.

“I wanted to get something out of the first year, not go in halfway through the year and be like, ‘oh, I didn’t get much out of this year,’” said Celina Galbraith, who is going into Grade 7 at the Vernon Community School.

Haber and Sadie Mullin hope their message is strong enough that, “the strike will stop.”

 

Visit vernonmorningstar.com for a video of the rally messages from students and parents.