'We are the face of it': Student frustrations mount as work-to-rule persists
Some students are taking their concerns to social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube
High School students around Nova Scotia are growing more impatient with the work-to-rule regime in place in the province's schools.
In the early days of the job action, many students protested in support of their teachers. Today, that loyalty is starting to wane.
"Teachers are meant to be role models and mentors. This [work-to-rule campaign] puts that reputation in jeopardy," wrote Taylor Morrison in four-page letter posted to Twitter.
Morrison is a Grade 12 student at CP Allen High School in Bedford.
Everyone rt this to get your fair education. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stopwork2rule?src=hash">#stopwork2rule</a> <a href="https://t.co/wbIY2k7R6o">pic.twitter.com/wbIY2k7R6o</a>—@taylormorrison_
The teachers and the Nova Scotia government are locked in a contract dispute. Teachers started work-to-rule on Dec. 5, which means they arrive 20 minutes before class starts, and leave 20 minutes after school ends.
Morrison said in the early days of the job action, most students didn't mind showing support for teachers. Now, she said the support isn't there.
"At first it was like, 'Oh, the teachers, we need to do this for them.' But now it's just like everything is just adding up. It's more students for students," she told CBC News.
Needing extra help
In her post, she said her marks are falling because she can't get the extra help she needs between classes. Extra help is something she took for granted until now.
She said Grade 12 students suddenly have no access to their online academic standings. Students who are doing well are also unable to get exam exemptions.
"Everything is just coming on us," said Morrison.
"I just really wanted them [the public] to get a student's perspective on what's going on and how the majority of students are feeling in Nova Scotia," she said.
'It's very stressful'
Her friend, Jenna White, said the contract dispute is stressful. "By now I thought it would be resolved."
Exams are less than two weeks away.
At South Colchester Academy in Brookfield, students produced a short video and posted it on YouTube.
Their message is similar to the one coming from CP Allen.
"We're feeling a little bit isolated from the negotiations that are happening," Grade 11 student Marika Schenkels told CBC's Maritime Noon. She wrote and narrated the video.
"The teachers and the government are just on opposite ends of the spectrum, and the students — who should be the focus — are actually the ones taking the brunt of the impact."
Schenkels said she has no interest in taking sides, she just wants the two parties to settle their dispute.
"This is the problem and we are the face of it," she said.