Brockville – On Wednesday, June 26th from 4 pm until 5 pm, members of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) for the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) will host a rally outside of the Board Office and Steve Clark’s office to protest the school board’s new budget that cuts 100% of Child and Youth Worker and Behaviorists (Student Support Partner) positions and to demand that the Trustees reconvene and reinstate these professionals for the benefit of all students, their families and fellow education workers.
On Wednesday, June 19, School Board Trustees for Upper Canada DSB passed a budget that resulted in the devastating loss of 100% of Child and Youth Workers and Behaviourists (Student Support Partners) positions. The impact that this will have on all students across the school board is paramount.
For those of you who don’t know exactly what Student Support Workers do, here is a small snippet:
-On average, they intervene in at least one suicide crisis a week.
-They create and implement safety plans for kids of the highest risk of harm to both themselves and others.
-They support all aspects of behaviour, including those with autism.
-Alongside teachers, they co-teach strategies like self-regulation and conflict management.
-They provide one-on-one support for students who have anxiety, ADHD, depression, learning disabilities, self-esteem issues, and much more.
-Almost daily, they intervene and help students who cut themselves and do other forms of self-harm.
-They provide food and snacks daily for hungry kids.
-They provide deodorant, acne cream, and so much more that the most marginalized of kids cannot afford.
They are there for the safety of ALL students. They keep our classrooms safe – the entire system safe.
In September, these professionals will not be there. There is no contingency plan for front-line mental health support for the 27,000 students in the Upper Canada District School Board.
The rally is being held outside of the Board Office and Steve Clark’s office to protest the elimination of these mental health specialists on Wednesday, June 26 from 4 – 5 pm. Interested parties are encouraged to come out and tell our Public School Board trustees that professional support for students and their mental health is essential. All are encouraged to wear RED to show their support.