Recess cancelled effective Friday, no school next Thursday

  • May. 29, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The school board decided to cancel recess in schools on the islands effective Friday May 30, when it met in Masset on Tuesday. The cancellation is a result of the ongoing teachers’ strike, which puts an extra burden on district staff, as teachers have not been supervising students at recess since their job action began April 24.”We knew this was coming, job action is ongoing, the conflict has intensified on both sides”, Superintendent Angus Wilson told the board, “the decision is based on having fewer principals (available for supervision than during past strikes).””It’s a difficult decision but I do support it,” Masset trustee Sharon Matthews said, “it’s difficult for the children. A few weeks after the teachers’ job action started, Mr. Wilson said principals and other staff were putting in much longer days that usual, and couldn’t sustain doing so much longer.During the last teachers’ strike in 2012, the board cancelled recess only after about six months of job action, but since then has cut the number of principals and other staff available to supervise recess. Meanwhile, the BC Teachers’ Federation has announced the province-wide rotating strikes will continue, and come to Haida Gwaii for the second time on Thursday June 5. Teachers here manned the picket lines for the first time during this strike on Wednesday, effectively shutting down schools in School District 50.

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