Hi! I'm a senior living in Toronto and I was hoping someone could give me an opinion of the essay I wrote. It's about the teacher's strike that's currently going on in the city and how it's been affecting me and my thoughts on it. Please give me an honest opinion!
"Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you."
As an American living in Canada, I can truthfully say one of the most outstanding aspects of this country is its education system. In addition to providing an exceptional learning environment for students, the government offers teachers a wide variety of benefits. Recently, however, this has all been called into question with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario's passing of a law called Bill 115. This bill has caused quite a bit of controversy, as it has suspended the teachers' constitutional right to peaceful assembly in addition to imposing many limitations on their salaries. In retaliation to this, the teachers have suspended all extracurricular activities and events, including all sports teams, extra-help and prom.
Ironically Bill 115 is called the "Put Students First Act", however it has done anything but that. Participation in extra-curricular activities is an incredibly substantial component of students' senior year, especially in regards to college applications. Until it was suspended, I was a sectional editor of our school yearbook, the Delphian. Our yearbook is a highly anticipated aspect of every school year at Earl Haig, particularly this year as we were going to be issuing our first full-color edition. Now, however, it is uncertain as to whether we will be able to get it finished, as we are unable to hold meetings without teacher supervision. In my opinion, the only advantage of this loss is that it has provoked the once apathetic students into taking an interest in the issue and has moved many to take action and have their voices heard.
Thousands of students all across Ontario have been affected the same way I have, but those at my school were unwilling to take it silently. On December 10th, 2012, the students at Earl Haig staged a "walk out" in protest of the loss of our extra curricular activities. Many students walked out in anger at the teachers using us to get back at the government; however I did not see the problem in the same light. I believe that this dispute is much larger than us losing our clubs; it is about the teachers losing their constitutional rights. I walked out that day in protest of the government revoking a fundamental freedom, a freedom that is part of what makes Canada the country that it is; something that I believe cannot be taken away simply because the government says so.
What the Legislative Assembly of Ontario calls the "Put Students First Act" is merely another way for the provincial government to control the teachers and impose limitations on what they can and cannot do. Unfortunately students such as myself have also been greatly affected, but I sincerely believe what the teachers did was necessary to show the government that their actions were far from being democratic. Hopefully the provincial government realizes how much this could negatively impact Ontario's renowned education system and decide to repeal Bill 115 once and for all.