Roland Butler, Opposition Education Critic and MHA for the District of Port
De Grave, says the recent incident involving young students in Avondale and
the discovery of bullets in Roncalli school demonstrate the need for
increased teacher investments in schools across the province.
he has received numerous calls identifying other examples of where
inappropriate activities by students are taking place in the classroom.
Teachers have also called to voice their anger at what they believe is a
lack of resources to undertake sufficient supervisory activities. Several
hundred teaching positions have been cut over the past two years, and the
stress levels of teachers have risen dramatically as they are being asked to
undertake more and more responsibilities on a daily basis.
"Student behaviour in our schools is becoming an increasing problem for
teachers," said Mr. Butler. "After speaking with several teachers, they have
explained the extra duties they are being asked to undertake on a daily
basis. They feel that resource cutbacks have negatively impacted their
ability to provide the appropriate levels of supervisory duties during
lunch, recess and after school hours. As government continues to move
forward with teacher cuts and ignore research papers on stress, such as
those presented by Linda Younghusband, we will see more of these behavior
issues. Something has to change, and unless the school boards and government
start listening, major problems lie ahead in our education system.
"Teachers are doing an admirable job with the resources and workloads
they are coping with. We must all work together to ensure situations, such
as the one that took place at Roncalli school in Avondale, are avoided in
the future. A step in the right direction would be an increased investment
in the upcoming provincial budget that would provide teachers with an
appropriate level of resources to do their jobs effectively."