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Tuesday was anything like a normal first day of school as more than 500 rally in support of public education

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
September 3rd, 2014

Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of public school for students in BC.

Instead, students traded books for protest signs, joining more than 500 angry parents, CUPE workers and teachers at a march through the downtown core of Nelson to protest the labour dispute that has crippled the public school system in the province.

No start to school term as teachers continue to strike

The march, organized by Parents Etc. for Public Education, took protestors from the 700 Block of Baker Street to the City of Nelson Courtyard to show their concern over the stalemate in talks that kept public schools closed on the first day of instruction.

“I think we were heard because of the shear numbers, but also because this (protest) was just one of a number of events that happened (Tuesday) across the province,” said Lucas Myers, one of the parents involved in spearheading Tuesday protest march.

The 2014-15 public school year was pushed back after negotiations between the B.C. Teachers’ Association and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, the bargaining agent for the provincial government, ended abruptly Saturday in Richmond when mediator Vince Ready walked out on the talks.

Ready said the two sides were “still a long ways apart.”

Myers said the idea for the march resulted during a meeting with a few concerned parents.

“We thought we had to do something if school wasn’t going to start on Tuesday,” Myers explained.

After winding its way through Baker Street, protesters ended up at the City of Nelson Courtyard.

Protesters were offered the chance to be part of the “$40 campaign”.

“The $40 is based on what the government is offering parents in the parent support program,” Myers said.

“People were asked to write messages on the (fake bills) and send them to the government to draw attention that this money the government is spending should be going to public education.”

Myers said there’s a jar where people can drop the fake bills off at Cowan’s Office Supply.

Myers said the Parents Etc. for Public Education group is now catching its breath.

But Myers hopes public pressure continues to grow so students and teachers can get back into the classroom and off the streets sooner than later.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: Education

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