EXCLUSIVE: Chateauguay student creates petition to fight education budget cuts

admin post on March 1st, 2019
Posted in 杭州龙凤

WATCH ABOVE: Many students and parents were surprised to learn that extra-curricular activities have been cancelled this fall due to teacher pressure tactics. One student from Chateauguay tells Felicia Parrillo how she’s fighting back.

CHATEAUGUAY – On her first day of Grade 11 at Howard S. Billings High School in Chateauguay, Autumn Whiteside heard her teachers talking about budget cuts.

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She discovered that there would be no more after school tutorials, sports, or any other extra curricular activities.

“School is hard but at least the sports and other programs makes it all easier and more fun to go to,” said Autumn.

“Now, without all that it’s just sad and boring.”

Instead of sitting around waiting for a change, Autumn decided to take action.

She started an online petition to spread the word on Quebec’s decision to cut funding to education.

In only 48 hours, she’s gathered over 800 signatures.

“I’ve been getting contacted from teachers from Westmount, students from all over Montreal, contacting me, supporting me and telling me that they’re proud that there’s a student taking a stand and defending teacher’s rights, ” she said.

It’s not just students rallying behind her, teachers are too.

Nick Ross, president of Chateauguay Valley Teachers’ Association said he applauds Autumn’s efforts.

WATCH: Parents, teachers and students protest Quebec education cuts

“I think it’s great that the students are getting behind this and realizing that the cuts that the government is making are going to affect them, their classmates, their teachers and public education in general,” said Ross.

Ross said as of right now, the government has proposed to increase the maximum class sizes and cut the budgets of special needs and handicap students.

As part of the negotiations, the union has imposed pressure tactics, which means teachers are no longer offering volunteer after-school activities – not only at Howard S. Billings, but at schools across the province.

As for Autumn, she just wants things to go back to normal for herself, her classmates and the students that will come after her.

“Seeing all the other students that are coming into the school, like just into high school and can’t experience all the experiences that I got to,” she said.

“It’s sad.”

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