'Kids missing out' as teachers drop volunteer work
Activities director says teachers are torn; board can do little
Posted: Dec 10, 2012 12:08 PM ET
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2012 12:04 PM ET
Starting Monday, Thunder Bay’s 350 public high school teachers are no longer taking part in voluntary and extracurricular activities.
“The teachers involved are obviously very torn,” said David Pineau, the activities director for Thunder Bay high schools.
“And we're hoping to get back to … normal business at some point. But certainly the kids are missing out on opportunities and that's tough on everybody.”High school basketball games and tournaments have been cancelled by the Lakehead Public School Board due to inadequate supervision. Secondary school teachers have withdrawn voluntary activities like coaching as a part of an ongoing labour dispute with the province. (Berecruited.com)
Four basketball and volleyball games scheduled across the city Monday were cancelled.
The sanctions imposed by Thunder Bay's public high school teachers are part of a province-wide protest against the government by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation.
“I don't think anybody likes the situation that we're in,” Pineau added. “And we're really hoping for a quick resolution to this so that we can … get back to the season, and certainly nobody relishes having to deal with this issue.”
Not much board can do
With teachers withdrawing from participating in after-school activities, there's little the board can do to salvage them, said Lakehead Public School Board director of education Catherine Siemieniuk.
Several Thunder Bay high schools will continue playing sports on an exhibition basis only, however.
Those schools include the Catholic high schools, Dennis Franklin Cromarty and Laverendrye.
The Keewatin Patricia board has also suspended extracurricular activities.
Recently the Lakehead District Public School cancelled a high-profile basketball tournament because of safety concerns arising from inadequate supervision. The Tiger Tip-off tournament at Westgate Collegiate was cancelled Nov. 29, after the first day of the two-day event.
Board superintendent Ian MacRae said there was an expectation the tournament would have enough teacher-supervisors, but that changed after the union reinstated work-to-rule action.
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