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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Province-wide student walkout

Orillia | by Ian MacLennan  

High school students to protest planned education changes.

Ontario high school students will be hitting the streets instead of the books this afternoon for a province-wide protest over the Ford government's changes to the education system.

The overhaul includes an increase in high school class sizes,  a revamped health and physical educaiton curriculum and a classroom cellphone ban.

Organizers say they expect 100,000 students from over 700 schools to take part in the walkout, dubbed #StudentsSayNo.

In Orillia,  the three high schools are expected to empty out around 12:30 this afternoon.

A student spokesperson for Twin Lakes Secondary School earlier said that students would gather at the Orillia Opera House for the protest but Evelyn McCloy now says students at Twin Lakes will march around the block and hold the demonstration at the school.

McCloy says she has spoken to students who are fearful that arts and skilled trades courses could be phased out as a result of the education changes.

A letter from organizers to students taking part in the demonstration says it is crucial we take back our education system and show that we have a loud and powerful voice.  We need to hold the government accountable and ensure we are being heard.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson says walkouts are not the forum to voice concerns about changes.

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