A local school board says potential student protests may happen on Feb. 11.
In a letter to families, the Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario (CSPNE) says the student protest is towards the health measures put in place by school boards across the province during the pandemic.
The letter states the protest will potentially take place in the afternoon.
CSPNE says though it doesn’t know if students are planning to participate in the movement, it states no staff will be as it is responsible for student safety and school activities will be held as usual, adding students who leave the classroom will be marked as absent.
The North Bay Police Service says it is aware of reports that some students at local schools are planning a demonstration against COVID-19 protocols as part of a larger, Ontario-wide student protest.
“The North Bay Police Service will be monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of students, school staff, and the public,” shares David Woolley, NBPS Corporate Communications Officer. “We ask motorists to be conscious of speed, road conditions, and their surroundings as there may be an increased number of students outside today near roadways.”
CSPNE’s letter adds disciplinary measures will be applied for behaviours that go against school and provincial rules such as wearing a mask and bullying students and staff members.
The letter continues to state the board respects the rights related to free speech and expression, but schools (especially during regular school hours) are not the time and place to demonstrate for changes made to laws, regulations and health protocols for which the board and schools have no decision-making power. The letter adds hindrance to the safety, well-being and movement of students and staff will not be tolerated.
The board is encouraging parents and guardians to discuss the subject with their child.