Yes, you read that correctly. Never did it cross my mind that I would be saying thank you to the same person who is the reason I am on strike this coming Monday. I am not thanking her for Bill 33. I am not thanking her for refusing to agree to mediation. I am not thanking her for her net zero policy. I am thanking her for being the impetus for a very valuable conversation I had with my students today. Now Premier Clark, please do not get carried away and quote me as a teacher who appreciates the role you play in educational change - yet. Rather, your government and your stance during these negotiations, if we can call them that, opened discussions about the very values we pride ourselves on as Canadians - freedom and democracy.
Now, it is true, we are lucky to live in a country where these words even ring true at all. However, without biasing my students my stance in this particular struggle, I try to open them to how important it is to stand up for our rights when we think they are being threatened, in order to protect their sanctity. After covering the basics of the dispute from both sides in an effort to be as unbiased as possible, for my students deserve this, these are the questions they had:
- Didn't the people in government go to school? Don't they know how important schools are?
- How can the government say they don't have enough money for education when we pay taxes?
- Don't the people in government have children? If they do, do they not care about their children's futures?
- Are universities on strike too? Why not?
- Can we go to private schools while you are on strike?
- Can we go on strike with you?
- Can PM Harper do anything [about our schools]? How about in Ontario?