Hostage negotiation: teachers' union ups the ante

Conveniently enough for me, a week after the completion of my third NaNoWriMo challenge, and the day after I decide to reboot this log, I am presented with a most unavoidable topic. Unfortunately, it is far from "fresh"--actually, it's spoiled and repugnant, but someone has to pick it up and hold it at arms' length before tossing it another 30 feet away to be reassessed at a later time.

Earlier today, it was announced (with a glaring typo, Globe and Mail) that "Ontario’s high-school teachers are stepping up their job action, signalling that they won’t participate in sports clubs or extra-curricular activities". For those active in the student body, this was the decision they had dreaded. This was the decision that everyone had planned for, that no one had really expected.

Whatever happened to the no-touch policy?
I'll admit to using school authority to my own advantage in the past, but lately, I feel as though we students are being used as a leverage object. I protest to being simplified and typecast, not used. I can deal with being used, but I cannot deal with being expected to submit to an dissolution of the primary methods which allow teenagers to avoid being typecast.

Certainly I'm not the lone student who invests an equal amount, if not, more effort in extra curricular activities than class. (Equally so, it could be argued that I don't invest enough time in class.) Most students would side with the union in a heartbeat, due to the common dislike for our infamous ex-premier, but for now, I will refrain from vilifying either party.

Shamefully, the immature child in me who lacks understanding of this issue at large is subduing her giggles. I can't help but think of this as the perfect case study of a workers' rights battle for Gr. 12 Canadian Law classes, as if it weren't real, and as if it weren't happening right now. I'm still viewing it from an outside perspective, thinking, "those poor kids". Putting myself back in my own shoes, students must think this is an abomination.

Whether sports teams and clubs were withdrawn at the start of the school year or not, it just "isn't fair". If they were withdrawn in September, job or college applicants have minimal merits under recent school involvement. If they were not withdrawn in September, students have lost three full months of invested time, effort, and planning. Athletes may have a substantially more difficult time impressing scouts or qualifying for scholarships, and music students in the Greater Toronto Area have already had their regional Musicfest competition cancelled.

But the union knows this action is at a risk. We're the sort of hostage with the short little knives, stowed away in our pockets next to the weed and attitude they failed to confiscate in our first eight years of school. If they are not already, teachers could very well find themselves taking the heat from both sides: the students and the politicians.

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