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Saskatoon students walk out of school to protest teacher contract stalemate


High school students in Saskatoon took the afternoon off on Tuesday to voice their frustrations at the province over its inability to strike a deal with teachers.

Feeling neglected during the ongoing contract dispute between teachers and the province, they took their feelings to the streets.

"None of us are getting the education or the funding we need for things that we want to do, and I find this more important than my education right now," high school student Danica Epps said. "They need to fund our education."

What originally started as an idea from students at Marion Graham Collegiate quickly turned into an organized walkout from many high schools across the city. More than 100 students made their way to MLA Don Morgan's office for a protest.

"I want to have a good job when I grow up and I need to have a good education to do that, so with the strikes that can't happen," Emma Vanderzwan said as cars drove by honking their horns in support.

Students felt the protest was important not only for their education, after seeing years of cuts and growing class sizes themselves, but for kids who are just starting school.

"There's so many kids stepping up today and using their voices and left school that I think this actually should be recognized and this should make a change because the government should see that it means a lot to students," said Carly Penner, who drove in from Langham for the protest.

Saskatoon students protest the government's inability to reach a deal with teachers outside Sask. Party MLA Don Morgan's office on March 26, 2024. (Dan Shingoose / CTV News)

With learning being disrupted and extracurriculars cancelled for the week, many students felt they aren't getting the services and experiences expected of the school system.

"Imagine having 35 kids in a classroom. This is incredible. The sizing is way too much," walkout organizer Kunj Patel said. "We can't get the support we need."

Last week, Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation president Samantha Becotte spoke about how vocal parents and students were over the loss of extracurricular activities like sports, and not the loss of core education hours.

"I think that goes to show the efforts that teachers have taken to fill the gaps. I think that we have really tried to make it possible to provide that high quality education," Beccote said.

In a statement, the province said it continues to invite the STF back to the bargaining table every week.

"Teachers and students should be in the classroom and the STF leadership should be at the bargaining table." Top Stories

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