High school students protest in support of teachers

Students from various high schools across Ottawa organized two separate protests today in support of their teachers and disputing Bill 115, which does not allow teachers to strike.

300 students camp outside South Carleton H.S., about 200 protest outside premier's office

Ottawa students supporting teachers protested at the constituency office of Dalton McGuinty. 2:18

About 500 students ran two boisterous but peaceful protests in support of their teachers, who are currently avoiding extra-curricular activities in their own protest against Bill 115.

At noon Wednesday, students from different high schools gathered outside Dalton McGuinty's constituency office. They chanted, "kill the bill," voicing their sympathy for teachers and to mourn the loss of extra-curricular activities.

"We feel bad for them, what Dalton McGuinty is doing and the bill. As a result, it's going down to us and missing our extra-curricular and it's making it worse," said Assad Lotf, a student at Ridgemont High School.

"We're trying to help that out and the teachers at the same time."

Ridgemont school officials advised their students not to attend, warning students they could be arrested. Some did say their parents gave them permission to attend.

Students organized the event outside the premier’s constituency office on Facebook.

South Carleton runs own protest

Earlier in the day, about 300 students camped out in front of South Carleton High School in the city's south end. Many dressed in black to support their teachers.

They also held signs pledging their support for teachers, as well as signs showing disdain for the premier and Bill 115.

Students have been protesting over the past week after the unions for both high school and elementary teachers advised their members to protest the bill, which bans teachers' strikes and does not allow bankable sick days, among other things.

The elementary teachers are participating in what they call "McGuinty Mondays," which has them only working about 6.5 hours and not attending meetings. The high school teachers are being told to avoid all extra-curricular activities all the time.

Some students protested because they want to play sports or join clubs, many of which have been cancelled due to a lack of teacher volunteers.

Ten schools in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board did not register for any fall sports this school year. Many other schools registered for a limited number of sports teams.