Teacher strike action dampens Christmas events
Some fundraisers cancelled, Christmas pageants scaled down
Outside-the-classroom events like food drives, gift drives, and other charity fundraisers are a big question mark this year as a result of public teacher job action happening across the province.
A member of Lively District Secondary School's student council said she's concerned about the impact teacher job action will have on her school's charity events.
Katie Cuthbertson said they've already had to cancel several events, including ones that raise money for charity.
"We're hoping to pie teachers in the face for charity and now, because of the extracurricular ban, they might not be able do that," she said.
"I think [it’s] pretty awful since it's a way to motivate our students into donating money and cans for the canned food drive."
But the union representing secondary school teachers with the Rainbow District School Board said charity events should still be continuing.
"Probably every school in the city in the Rainbow Board anyway has Adopt-a-Family or a canned food drive going and we're not stopping those," said local union president James Clyke.
Clyke said the union was initially considering withdrawing teachers from charity events, but later decided it was unnecessary
Evening Christmas pageants cancelled
And there will be no evening Christmas concerts this year at schools with the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury.
As part of the current job action, anything scheduled to happen after 3 p.m. must be cancelled.
The director of education for the board said some schools are holding performances during the day, but they will be scaled back.
"They won't look the same as they normally have in the past," Norm Blaseg said.
"Typically … they're having Christmas in a concert-style where the kids would just gather together they would have … sing alongs."
Blaseg said most children won't be getting the experience of a school-wide holiday show this year.
"It's one of those things that kids get to see at a young age [and] you get to see what is happening with older kids and what your expectations might be for the next year," he said.
"So it is always something that may be a kind of an ‘aha’ moment and something that we hope every child gets to experience."
Blaseg added Christmas concerts are one of the few times during the year when the whole school gets together to celebrate an event.
Teachers with the public school boards in the province have stopped doing anything but teaching, including extra-curricular activities and supervising students outside of the classroom.
Elementary school teachers are also holding rotating day long strikes throughout the month.