Schools Closed Due to Safety Concerns

Education and Early Childhood Development

December 3, 2016 11:17 AM

As of Monday morning, Dec. 5, all public schools in Nova Scotia will be closed to students to ensure students' safety.

After consultation with school boards, government has concluded the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) directive to teachers and administrators will create unacceptable risk to students.

"The safety of all of our students is paramount," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. "It is clear, after communicating with school board officials across Nova Scotia, that the job actions proposed by the NSTU could put our schools in an emergency situation. Superintendents could simply not guarantee student safety, and recommended schools be closed."

More than 43,000 students are supervised at lunch. Children could end up stranded in schoolyards, or unsupervised in classrooms, after arriving on buses more than 20 minutes before classes begin.

"We were warned that educational assistants may not be there to meet students with special needs as they arrive by bus," said Ms. Casey. "If only one student is stranded by the action directed by the union, that would be one too many."

Government will bring forward legislation Monday, Dec. 5, that will get students back to school as quickly as possible. While schools are closed to students, teachers and other staff are still expected to report to work.

The Teachers' Professional Agreement (2016) Act will adopt the tentative agreement reached by the union and the government on Sept. 2, 2016 - as an NSTU contract extending until the end of July, 2019.

"We are confident that we are taking the right steps to ensure our schools continue to operate as safe and productive places of learning," said Ms. Casey.

Classes will resume when boards are assured safety concerns are addressed.

Information for parents can be found online at novascotia.ca/parentinformation.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     As of Monday morning (December 5th) all public schools in

Nova Scotia will be closed to students to ensure students'

safety.

     After consultation with school boards, government has

concluded the Nova Scotia Teachers Union directive to

teachers and administrators will create unacceptable risk to

students.

     Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen

Casey says the safety of all our students is paramount.

     She says it is clear, after communicating with school board

officials that the job actions proposed by the union could put

our schools in an emergency situation.

     More than 43,000 students are supervised at lunch. Children

could end up stranded in schoolyards, or unsupervised in

classrooms, after arriving on buses more than 20 minutes before

classes begin.

     Government will bring forward legislation this Monday that

will get students back to school as quickly as possible. While

schools are closed to students, teachers and other staff are

still expected to report to work.

     Information for parents can be found online at

Nova Scotia DOT ca SLASH parent information.

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Media Contact: Heather Fairbairn
              Cell: 902-717-2151
              Email: Heather.Fairbairn@novascotia.ca