So now the school labour dispute has reached the students. Of course, they were affected before but now a portion of them are seeing fit to become actively involved in the issue by staging a walkout of their own today.
While we applaud young people taking an interest in the world, it’s hard to judge what impact this will have on the dispute. Actually, it will have no impact on the dispute, the effect will be on the students who will be forced to take a stand on an issue in which they are the innocent third party.
The dispute has been likened to a family going through a divorce. The parents in this case have been feuding for years. In fact, have they ever gotten along? This couple has been through mediation numerous times and still they end up throwing dishes at each other.
Students are conflicted about whether they should participate in the protest. Opinions run the whole gamut from “waste of time” to “take a stand.”
Teachers might be wishing they could be treated like any other unionized worker in conflict with their employer but, unfortunately, they can’t. The government, meanwhile, wants the teachers and the public to roll over to their own – usually politicized – priorities when it comes to managing education.
The students truly are caught in the middle and now some of them are trying to exert some pressure of their own in order to expedite a settlement. It’s the graduating students that have the most to lose here. Actions at this time of the school year and their school careers, have a dramatic impact on students’ futures. That they are angry at being shoved aside is justified. So, they take up picket signs and stage walkouts. It will not lead to a settlement but it is certainly worthwhile reminding both sides of the dispute who has the most to lose.