A video posted to YouTube by two Grade 11 students at South Colchester Academy is showing the students’ perspective of the ongoing labour dispute between Nova Scotia teachers and the government.
Marika Schenkels and Hunter Redmond created the video “Open Your Eyes: A Letter to our Parents, Teachers and Government regarding the NSTU Strike,” hoping it would shed light on how the teachers work-to-rule campaign is impacting students.
“We really tried to make sure it was as non-bias as we could,” Schenkels said.
“They say do what you know so we did film what you know – which was our own problems. So we can’t speak for the teachers and government but we can speak for ourselves.”
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Unionized teachers started work-to-rule job action on Dec. 5 amid an ongoing contract dispute with the provincial government.
Since then, all extracurricular, voluntary activities and school sports have been placed on hold.
Schenkels said students are the ones ultimately missing out because of the job action.
“No scholarship recommendations for graduates, which is really tough,” Schenkels said.
“As of right now, if this keeps going, no proms, no graduations, no safe grads and then for everybody else it’s like sports teams and musicals and band and clubs, committees. There’s just so much stuff you don’t realize that students do and it’s really important to have those opportunities.”
So far, the success of the video is surprising students. In less than a day, it has had more than 10,000 views.
“I didn’t think that we’d get as many views or anything. I thought it would just be a couple people in the school,” Redmond said.
The ultimate goal of the video is to show the challenges that students are facing right now and hopefully help create some positive change.
“The students are what’s important in this issue because like we said in the video, we’re the future and we need to be protected so they have to realize that,” Schenkels said.
“I hope people realize it’s not just the teachers and the government that need to work things out,” Redmond added. “The students are suffering a lot from it.”
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