Wednesday, March 07, 2012

BC Teachers On Strike Yet Still Teaching

This week Teachers in BC haven't even been in the classroom, yet they've still managed to teach their students one of the most important things; how to take a stand.

Critics will point out at how young people are already too self-assured and that they already have no respect for authority. Those curmudgeons are sure to say the Stanley Cup riot was proof of that. The last thing youth today need to be taught is how to oppose those in power. However that observation of young people is the exact reason why the teachers strike is such an important lesson for them.

This strike shows students that they don't need to resort to violence when something is unfair, that in our society there are better ways to express oneself and to make a difference. This strike has shown young people that instead of overturning cop cars, they can overturn court rulings; instead of fighting police & hiding behind masks, they can oppose government with civilly and be proud of who they are; and instead of enjoying momentary delerium in destroying a city, they can enjoy the lasting pride of building their community through rallies, discussions and negotiations.

No matter if you support the teachers or oppose them, the lesson they're teaching our youth today is more valuable than any pay increase or benefit. This strike, and indeed any peaceful strike, is not not only about bettering a labour contract, it's about bettering our social contract.

BC teachers haven't even been at school and they taught their students the most important lesson, stand up for what you believe in.


Volkov said...

Good post - but in all honesty, during our province's round of teacher strikes under Harris, I didn't give two cruds about what they were doing, I was just happy to be off school. So was everyone else I knew! said...

When I was in grade 5 the teachers went on strike for weeks and I felt the same way. A few years later in high school seeing how ordinary the men and women who teach are, not the gods or authority figures of my youth, I looked back and thought it was really something that they stepped out of the melieu and made a stand.