Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ontario’s schools are falling apart

Of all the duties that educational leaders and policy-makers have, ensuring that schools are safe is arguably the most important. But it looks like that is not happening in our city. Documents from the provincial government state that 56 per cent of schools in the Toronto District School Board are in “critical” or “poor” condition. And sometimes the consequences are dire. As reported by CTV news, a 6-year-old girl went to the bathroom at her Toronto school only to have the stall door collapse on her head, giving her a major concussion that took her over two months to recover from. Clearly we have a problem.

Teachers have been trying to sound the alarm about these issues for years. According to Elementary Teachers’ of Toronto president John Smith, teachers call the union almost every day about safety concerns in their schools. Perhaps in order to really change things though, teacher unions need to take more drastic measures, as their colleagues in other jurisdictions have done.

For example, in order to call attention to their crumbling school buildings, teachers in Detroit have engaged in a mass “sick-out” campaign. Because it is illegal under Michigan state law for any public employee to go on strike, Detroit teachers have been calling in to work “sick” en masse, effectively shutting down schools across the district.  (more...)

Yes, shut it down. Realistically, the system is too far gone to fix.

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