Burnaby students protest to support teachers

Burnaby teachers got a shot in the arm during their one-day walkout Thursday as a handful of concerned students held their own protest at city hall.
“Be fair to our teachers,” read one sign held aloft by Margaret Anteros, a Byrne Creek Secondary Grade 11 student, who was in front of city hall demonstrating with a cluster of fellow students Thursday morning.
Students demonstrate at Burnaby city hall to support teachers who walked off the job Thursday as part of province-wide rotating teacher strikes.

Student organizers expected a higher turnout since more than 100 students signed on to the planned event on Facebook this week, but in the end less than 10 braved the miserable weather.
“We all felt strongly about this,” Burnaby South Grade 11 student Tanbi Bhatia told the NOW.
She said the partial teacher lockout imposed by government this week is interfering with her education.
“I needed help with Chemistry the other day,” she said, “and I tried to go see my teacher at lunch, but it was like, ‘I can’t help you. I’m no allowed.’”
Fellow Burnaby South Grade 11 student Giselle Dipasupil said she hasn’t been able to make up missed tests because teachers are locked out at recess and lunch, and the 45 minutes they are allowed before and after school isn’t enough time.
“I would have to make it up during class time, but that would mean I’m missing more things to do that I was trying to catch up on,” she said.
Anteros, meanwhile, is frustrated two fundraising events at her school were cancelled this week because she said teachers don’t want to risk supervising them.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender has said the terms of the lockout do not prevent teachers from volunteering their time for extra-curricular activities.
He has also said the lockout “mirrors” the teachers’ stage 1 job action launched last month.
But that hasn’t been Dipasupil’s experience.
“It’s not the same at all,” she said.
During the job action, she said, teachers still talked to students about schoolwork at lunch and before and after school.
Rotating teacher strikes continue around the province next week.
Burnaby teachers are scheduled to walk out again Tuesday.


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