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Students in Belleville to join provincial walkout protest Thursday

By Brittany Woodcock [1]

BELLEVILLE – Students in all seven high schools under the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board are walking out of class on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. to protest the changes Ford’s government is making to Ontario’s education system.

They’re doing this along with seven hundred other schools across Ontario as a part of the #StudentsSayNo [2] walkout. It’s expected to be the largest school walkout in Canadian history, according to a press release [3] from March for Education [4], the student advocacy group that organized the protest.

These changes include mandatory E-Learning courses for all students, major cuts in the Ontario Autism Program [5], banning of cellphones in the classroom, job losses for over five thousand teachers and the increasing of class sizes.

“These enormous cuts to Ontario’s education system once again demonstrate premier Doug Ford’s disregard for Ontario’s students and vulnerable populations. March for our Education has once again mobilized its resources to defend the right of Ontario’s students,” said Frank Hong [6], March for our Education co-executive director, in a press release.

March for our Education has done a walkout before to hep reinstate most of the 2015 Sex-Ed curriculum and was successful, said Hong.

“We will organize and mobilize thousands of students from all across Ontario once again until these these planned education cuts are cancelled. We’ve achieved results before and we expect to successfully defend the interest of Ontario’s students once again,” he said.

The students involved in these walkouts are from Bayside Secondary School, Centennial Secondary School, Centre Hastings Secondary School, Eastside Secondary School, North Hastings High School, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute and Trenton High School.