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Marble Pedestal: Alberta Teachers’ Association sticking it to the man

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) made a few bold declarations at their annual meeting on May 18, coming together to voice their concerns about several proposed government policies.

Kim Clement for Alberta Teachers’ Association

In light of a few statements the new United Conservative government made regarding funding for schools, the teachers are already fighting back. They not only announced that they wanted vaccinations to be compulsory for staff, but also that they wanted the rights of LGBTQ+ staff and students protected by law. The latter struck a particularly tender chord, as Premier Jason Kenney has said multiple times that he plans to repeal protections previously in place for LGBTQ+ students.

The ATA isn’t alone in its resistance to budget cuts and government policies, but it’s refreshing to see such a large group already letting the government know they won’t go down without a fight. Teachers are integral to how society runs, and it’s good to be reminded that they’ll only let go of their values kicking and screaming.

Normally, I wouldn’t associate the phrase “stick it to the man” with a group of teachers, but the fact that they’ve made these announcements so soon after Kenney began his term speaks volumes for how they feel about his policies. Honestly, the fact that a group so reliant on government funding is publicly opposing the acting premiere this quickly is… kind of badass. Collectively, the ATA just became the rebellious student raising their hand to disagree with the prof in front of an entire 400-person lecture hall.

I’ve got to say, the teachers are pretty cool for this one. Not only are they standing up for what they believe in, but they are also setting an example for their students: that the next generation doesn’t have to take whatever comes at them lying down. I applaud their collective middle finger to passivity. Party on, ATA, you have all of our respect.

Payton Ferguson

Payton Ferguson is a second-year English major by day, 2019-20 Opinion Editor for The Gateway by night (and also day). She enjoys long walks to the fridge, writing until her wrists ache, and bombarding social media with pictures of her chihuahuas.

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