Student-Organized Walk Out Expected At Hundreds of Ontario Schools Thursday

Students Protesting Changes to Education System, Including Bear Creek Secondary Students

A massive walkout is planned for schools across the province Thursday, including here in Barrie.

The student-organized protest expected at 1:15 Thursday afternoon, with over 800 schools in Ontario reportedly expecting students to leave class in protest of the Ford Government’s changes to the education system.

Related: New Education Plan Doesn’t Include Sex Ed, Does Zero In On Class Size and STEM

That includes Jenna Honke, a Grade 11 student at Bear Creek Secondary in Barrie, who says among the reasons she is participating, is the repeal of the sex ed curriculum. “it’s not going to be covering cyberbullying, it won’t be covering gender identity, no same sex couples. And it will not be covering consent either, and consent is a super important thing for teenagers and even young children to learn, at an age appropriate level of course.”

Related: New Autism Funding Coming to Ontario Schools

A local students’ group claims new Ford Government policies will increase class sizes, reduce funding for arts programs, remove 5844 teaching positions, change important sexual education curriculum and force students to take four e-learning courses without support from educators in order to graduate.

Related: Province Cutting Tuition, Low-Income Grant Options

A representative from the Simcoe County District School Board says that if students choose to exercise their right to protest, the only repercussion students should expect is to be marked absent from class.