Students banded together in anger

 In Letters, Opinion

Editor:
On April 4th, I walked out of Collingwood Collegiate Institute in protest to the education cuts.
I thought that it was a great day of students across the province banding together and sharing their anger with the decision. However, when I read Yael Inglis’ letter to the editor in last week’s Echo, I felt sad. What was the point of the protest if people as misinformed as this were still within the student population? Had we failed so much in sharing our message that some students didn’t even believe in it?
I would like to set the record straight and talk about some of the things in Yael’s letter, so that she might understand why the students of Ontario are so angry. Also, the community needs to understand that opinions like Yael’s are in the vast minority.
There are a few things that Yael says which are blatantly incorrect. She doesn’t seem to understand that class sizes going from 22 to 28 is an average. This means that the maximum students allowed in every class will be raised by six. The “40-person classes” number comes from Grade 11 and 12 university level courses, which currently have a maximum size of 34 students.
However, the students in those courses will be the least affected. Locally developed courses with small class sizes contain students who are very vulnerable.
An increase in class sizes could lead to more of those students slipping through the cracks.
Saying that “class sizes have no effect on student learning” is a very ignorant thing to say, and it demonstrates a poor understanding of how the school system works.
In 2003, the high school graduation rates were at an extremely low 68 per cent. After class sizes were lowered, that number rose to the current rate of 86 per cent.
I won’t go into detail about the other things in Yael’s letter, but just know that there are a lot of misconceptions and falsehoods.
I recommend anyone reading this should do their own research, because you can never trust people like me or Yael. Although I disagree with pretty much everything else she says in her letter, she is right when she says “I have on my own realized I must source my information.”
The biggest issue I have with Yael’s argument is how she seems to think that the walkout was masterminded by the teachers. This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read in The Echo. (Although I am 15, so I haven’t read very many things in The Echo.)
I don’t understand where people get this kind of idea. As a student, Yael should understand that teachers have a hard enough time getting kids to hand in assignments on the due date, let alone walking out of school in the middle of the day. And when she goes on to say that “It was sickening to see children used as tools for propagandizing” I get worried that she’s lost the plot!
This last paragraph was borderline conspiracy theory, and her idea that teachers should prevent students from participating in protests is completely ridiculous.
It goes against one of the fundamental freedoms on the charter of rights and freedoms. (By the way, that’s the same freedom that lets us write these letters.)
Anyways folks, bottom line is that I could go off on this letter for a decade so I’m gonna wrap it up here. In the words of Yael Inglis and Pink Floyd, “Hey, teachers Doug Ford! Leave them kids alone!”
Martin Hewitt,
Avening.

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