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Oshawa students walk out to protest education cuts

Kaitlyn Carswell was one a number of students at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic School who walked out of class to protest potential actions by the provincial government. (Photo by Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Car horns blared and teenagers cheered as students at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School walked out of their classes today to protest changes made to the education system.

The students were out in force as they were out protesting recent changes made by the provincial government which they believe negatively impact their education.

“Education is a right, this is why we have to fight,” the students chanted.

Kaitlyn Carswell organized the protest at the Oshawa school, one of a number across the region and province today.

Carswell told The Oshawa Express the students are protesting changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, the banning of cell phones in classrooms, the four mandatory online courses they will have to do, cuts to the autism program, and cuts to low income tuition assistance.

“There’s so much more,” she said, adding she feels there is no doubt there will be cutbacks in teaching jobs.

Carswell estimated around 50 or more came out, which she said was a good turn out.

While she did note the schools’ administration weren’t completely happy with students walking out, they have been supportive.

“They don’t see how it’s going to make an impact, but we’re trying to show them how many people actually care,” she said.

She added three out of her four teachers have shown their support for their efforts.

Students could also be seen outside Adelaide McLaughlin Public School and R.S. McLaughlin Collegiate and Vocational Institute as well, making the intersection of Rossland Road West and Stevenson Road North busier than normal.

The Durham District School Board also sent out a statement stating the board supports the rights of each and every student to participate in “peaceful forms of protest for causes in which they believe.”

In addition to the walkouts, #StudentsSayNo was trending on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.