Everyday, a steady stream of Seaway District High School students make their way ‘over town’ for their lunch hour, but last Thursday there was something much different going on.
A police cruiser was parked along the street, and a flood of students marched out the doors of the school wearing their school colours, carrying signs and spreading the word that they want the high school saved from the fate outlined in the Upper Canada District School Board’s Building for the Future proposal.
The police simply blocked the street to traffic while the students crossed, and principal Don Lewis said that they had alerted police about what the students were doing that day. “It was simply to ensure the safety of our students. That is our first priority,” Lewis told The Leader.
The students marched through and around the plaza before gathering there for a rally.
Students took turns with the megaphone where they made it clear that they love their school and all that it has brought to their lives.
“I went here, my brother went here, and we both have great memories of this school,” said one student. “I know my sister will go here too, and she will have great memories of Seaway too.”
While many have lengthy ties to the school and the community, a number of relative newcomers felt compelled to speak as well.
“Seaway is by far the most accepting school I have ever been to,” said a fairly new student to the school.
Even those who are finishing up their time at Seaway were a vocal part of the rally.
“Technically, I shouldn’t care, because I’m in grade 12,” said Nate Collard. “But, I’m a Link leader, and I care about my grade 9 linkers. I care about their future. I want that future to be at Seaway, so they can have the same great memories that I do.”
The student led-rally, which started at 11:20 a.m., wrapped up just before noon.
That afternoon, Seaway’s principal issued a letter to the parents and guardians of grade 7/8 students, stating that it was an unauthorized activity for the school’s intermediate students as it took place during regular class time and off school property.
“Staff at the board and school level cannot condone actions that interrupt the school day and that interfere with our staff’s legal obligation to supervise students and maintain the schedule that defines a regular school day,” reads the letter.
The letter goes on to say they want to see students involved in this matter of local interest, but that their opinions should be shared through the proper method, which is to complete the survey at ucdsb.on.ca, to attend an upcoming public meeting, or to email firstname.lastname@example.org.