Students are not happy about Premier Doug Ford’s plan for the education system in Ontario. A province-wide student walkout is set for Thursday at 1:15pm. Over 600 schools have already signed up for the Students Say No movement.

Founder Natalie Moore, a grade 12 student from Listowel, says youth will be protesting increasing class sizes, teacher cuts and mandatory online courses. She says the class sizes are just an average so you could have classes with 40 people, which could lower student success. Moore says students won’t get adequate feedback from teachers or one-on-one time to understand course material.

In Barry’s Bay, student trustee, Sean McCloskey of Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS) says that 150 to 200 students will be walking out of MVDHS on Thursday afternoon. He adds that they’ll be making their way to Zurakowski Park where he, along with a peer, will address the crowd. “We’ll be talking about what is happening, we’re not trying to force our opinions, we want students to create their own points of view” he says.

The Students Say No movement started March 19 to raise awareness about education changes. Moore says the movement’s social media accounts saw tens of thousands of views within the first 12 hours.

She says kids definitely understand the importance of balancing the books, but don’t think it should come at the cost of Ontario’s world class education system.

Moore says students who want to participate in the walkout should talk to their school administration and set up a Google Forms, so the number of people taking part can be tracked and presented to Queen’s Park.

For more information check out Students Say No on Facebook or Instagram.

Written by: Jennifer Westendorp and Devon Jolander