Province to investigate ways to continue school sports: education minister

Liberals will wait for IWK report before considering changes to expense reporting

Education minister Karen Casey says the government is looking at ways to bring high school sports back in the fall, after some teachers said they are not willing to take on the same number of extracurricular activity and volunteer positions. 

Some high school winter sport championships were cancelled this year after being affected by work to rule, and the status of some spring sports was uncertain after a new contract was imposed on teachers Feb. 21. 

"During the transition period, I think we want to just allow teachers if they want to, to continue to do that voluntary work, and I believe they will," Casey said Thursday. 

However, some teachers are stating that they will not take on extra responsibilities such as coaching. Casey admitted that could affect organizations such as the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation, which is mainly composed of teacher volunteers. 

"If they choose not to volunteer in that capacity, we have to perhaps look at the makeup of that," Casey said. 

School insurance needed

Casey said that having a teacher present at a sporting event allows the event to be covered by school insurance. 

"If that is without a teacher present, then we would have to look at what kind of insurance would we need if it was a parent, if it was a community member," she said.  

Casey said she believes teachers want extracurriculars like sporting events to continue. 

"That is a teacher's individual decision to make, because if it is voluntary then that comes from the heart," she said.

"Some are going back and volunteering because they love the work and they love their kids, and others have chosen not to. That's part of that transition." 

Casey said the goal is to make sure school sports can continue uninterrupted next season.