The Fight For Reform
Sarah Hassan | Toronto, Canada
On April 4, 2019, over 600 schools province wide participated in the Walk-Out to protest the changes brought on by the provincial government to the education system. The progressive conservative party has recently come under censure for changes including increased class sizes, making students take more online classes and appointing budget cuts for the autism program, sparking a wildfire of rage in students, particularly those in the public education system.
At Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario, this act of rebellion quickly caught on and spread easily, although at first many of us were candidly hesitant about participating, unsure of what our teachers would say or how many students would actually take the step forward in leaving their classes. We youth are funny like that. We find ourselves constantly needing validation, for someone to tell us that what we are doing is right; that if most people are doing it, it doesn’t hurt to be one more face in the crowd. We find ourselves unable to make the tough decisions, unless someone can tell us that this is what we must do. Perhaps this is why Doug Ford himself accused the student population of being brainwashed by “Union bosses telling the teachers and students what to do.” To him, I simply say that if that is what he truly believes after all this time and the awareness brought on by the students, perhaps he need not have to look so far in accusations of brainwashing.
In terms of us, I believe that this singular act stands out starkly as a defining moment in time when all students stood together, a united front for a cause we are all passionate about. We youth, who are often stereotyped as being lazy, noncommittal and unstable creatures have stood our ground; among everything else in our lives that we don’t have any control over; in this we hold steady, as education is our right; and in this, despite everything else, we deserve the best. So although in reality I acknowledge that our Walk-Outs will seem inconsequential in light of the PC party still going ahead with the changes; to us, I still say, Hurrah.