Nova Scotia

Parents and students show support for teachers as province closes schools

Parents and students across Nova Scotia gathered at schools Monday morning and are also at the legislature to show support for teachers embroiled in a contract dispute with the province.

'They deserve more time to spend teaching children, not just doing data entry,' says parent

Parents & students were out at many schools across Nova Scotia on Monday to support teachers who are in contract dispute with the provincial government. 0:41

Parents and students across Nova Scotia gathered at schools Monday morning and are also at the legislature to show support for teachers embroiled in a contract dispute with the province.

On Saturday, the government announced all public schools in Nova Scotia would close beginning today, but teachers would still be expected to report to work. The closures come as the province works to impose a contract that had previously been rejected by Nova Scotia's 9,300 teachers.

Students and parents protest outside the legislature in Halifax on Monday. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Shannon Hamilton was among the parents gathered at Truro Elementary School. She has a son in Grade Primary and hugged one of the teachers when they arrived. The teacher in turn hugged Hamilton's son.

"He doesn't understand what's going on," Hamilton said of her son. "It's hard to explain to him and make him understand why he won't be in school this week. That's the struggle for us."

Two police officers look on during the protest. (Robert Short/CBC)

Sharalee MacIsaac has a daughter in Grade 2 at the school. She said her daughter has eyesight problems that delay her reading abilities. Being out of school could mean she falls behind.

Shannon Hamilton (far left) and Sharalee MacIsaac (far right) are just some of the many parents showing support for teachers in Nova Scotia today. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

MacIsaac said she supports the teachers 100 per cent.

This Truro Elementary School teacher got a hug from both Shannon Hamilton (in black) and her son when the teacher arrived to work today. (CBC)
"They deserve more resource help. They deserve more time to spend teaching children, not just doing data entry," she said.

Parents and students gathered at École Beaubassin in Halifax. (CBC)

Several hundred teachers, supporters and parents turned out for a rally Monday afternoon in Sydney.

Several hundred people turned out for a rally to support public school teachers in Sydney Monday. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

Passing vehicles honked their horns in support as the protesters lined both sides of the busy street outside the Provincial Building and waved placards reading "Negotiate Don't Dictate."

Sally Capstick is NSTU Cape Breton Local president. She said they didn't call for the rally until Sunday night, so she was thrilled to see the large turnout. 

A number of teacher supporters in Sydney encouraged drivers to honk. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

"I am here because I do think it is very upsetting that teachers would have to go in the street to get their due." said Christiane Tanner, a retired teacher.

With files from Paul Palmeter and Joan Weeks