The creative signs of the Ontario teachers’ strikes

Creative signs behind the protests often go unnoticed

protest, strike, signs
Image of ETFO sign posted outside TCDSB headquarters on 80 Sheppard Ave East.  Luca Tatulli/Toronto Observer

Teachers have gotten creative with their students by creating colourful protest signs with sharp but artistic messages. The signs are often created as a team effort with both students and teachers working on them.

“Cuts hurt kids,” “Hands off FDK,” and “I strike because,” are some common messages featured on the signs. The slogans while serious are expressed in an artistic way. The messages are directed at Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.

“We are here trying to protect full-day kindergarten, it is an amazing program for our youngest most vulnerable learners,” protestor Andrea Spagnuolo said, describing the reason behind protesting.

“We are doing our part to make sure that it stays the world-class public education system that we have in Ontario,” Spagnuolo continued.

Along with being an early childhood educator, Spagnuolo is also the media representative of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO). Her reason to protest reflects the message the protest signs are sending to the provincial government.

Watch Toronto Observer Luca Tatulli’s interview with EFTO’s Andrea Spagnuolo

Despite the creative signs, most picketers use the signature ETFOs sign with the red-and-blue colour scheme. The blue usually dominates the top half of the sign with the unions’ logo in white at the bottom.

The signs are given out by organizers at the beginning of each protest and handed back at the end of the protest.

“We are on strike for kindergarten to stay,” early childhood educator Maryam Tomazadeh said. “Children are getting lots of benefits parents are getting lots of benefits and it has to stay,”

Tomazadeh’s message of promoting full-day kindergarten is another common theme of the protest signs. This is also an issue that many education protestors are pushing for.

Feb. 7 marked one of the largest united education workers strikes across Ontario with thousands protesting.

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Posted: Feb 8 2020 3:53 pm
Filed under: Education News