Job action kills sports finals

Local teacher and coach in School District 69 (Qualicum) decries loss of student opportunities

This photo illustrates how some kids might be feeling about the loss of school sports.

“I’m pissed off.”

That, to put it bluntly, is how one local teacher felt when asked their take on the recent announcement BC School Sports has cancelled the provincial championships for  mountain biking and golf.

By Thursday the majority, but not all, of the public school teams across the province had folded and teachers stepped away from extracurricular programs in protest of  government legislation.

“I don’t know, I mean it’s just very frustrating, and so divisive amongst the teachers. It is a bad situation,” said the longtime area teacher and multi-sport coach, whose name will not be used.

Removing the extra curricular activities, a move meant to send a message about their opinions against Bill 22, “only hurts the kids,” they said.

On that note, “not everyone is following the union stand — we’re not all falling in line,” the teacher answered when asked for some insight. “It’s the uncertainty of the next season … we’re talking about lost athletic scholarships.”

At this point the teacher confirmed all high school sports could be in jeopardy next year.

“What’s next? There is doubt certainly cast (about next year), and it doesn’t look like anything’s going to end quickly.”

And while mountain biking and golf have been cancelled — The News learned at deadline the Island finals for golf have officially been scrapped, effecting both our local teams — by all accounts it sounds like the same came be said for track and field and girls soccer as well.

Ballenas Secondary School’s girls soccer team was up and running, and Kwalikum Seocndary had fielded a team at the start of the season, but the teachers running it stepped down “because they felt like they had to,” and the team was sidelined.

Asked if there’s any light at the end of the tunnel, and the teacher thought for a second and replied, “it’s a volunteer position, and it should be left up to the individuals weather they want to sacrifice their time or not, and that (ruling) is very discouraging.

“It’s not part of my job description, we don’t have to do any of this … we wouldn’t do it unless we enjoyed it.

“It absolutely does affect the kids,” the teacher confirmed, adding sports, “keeps a lot of kids in school, it motivates kids … it’s no small part of a kid’s school day.”

“Unless it is a paid position by a teacher they can’t do it outside the school … the long term effects of this are huge,” said the teacher.

 

“It’s a lot bigger then we’re dealing with right now.”

 

 

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