Westmount High Teachers Will Wear Black For Their Return To School Tomorrow & Here's Why

We spoke with Robert Green, a teacher at the school, about this symbolic act.
Staff Writer
Westmount High Teachers Will Wear Black For Their Return To School Tomorrow & Here's Why

Monday marks the day Quebec high school students will return to in-person learning, with some exceptions, but it seems not everyone supports the government's choice to reopen schools right now.

On January 18, Westmount High School teachers will be wearing black "to mourn the death of science-based decision-making in Quebec." 

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I, like most teachers, want to be back in the classroom with my students, but not if this means risking human lives.

Robert Green, Social Sciences Teacher at Westmount High

A press release says teachers will also be showing up to class in black as a way "to mourn the inevitable deaths that will occur due to increased transmission caused by school reopenings" and "to mourn the end of our public healthcare system's ability to care for all Quebecers in the midst of this crisis."

MTL Blog spoke with Robert Green, a Social Sciences teacher at the school, about how this plan came to fruition.

The symbolic action to mourn the above-mentioned matters came to be last Thursday, when "teachers at Westmount High met online to discuss how terrible [they] were all feeling about the implications of [the] return to classroom teaching for our healthcare system and its workers."

Green told MTL Blog that he believes many teachers assumed the Quebec government would prolong online learning for high schools in the province — but it didn't.

"The idea to wear black was then proposed and everyone agreed it would be a powerful symbol to express how we are feeling," the teacher explained.

Green fears the consequences that will come as a result of reopening high schools in the present climate.

"To be sent back into the classroom at the very moment when the media is filled with stories about Quebec hospitals setting up triage committees has me feeling sick with worry."

"I, like most teachers, want to be back in the classroom with my students, but not if this means risking human lives and worsening the very serious crisis being faced by our public healthcare system and its workers."

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