Parents protest at Molly Brant Elementary as doors remain unlocked

Parents and students protesting out front of Molly Brant Elementary School on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

A small but determined group of parents and students gathered out front of Molly Brant Elementary School today, voicing concerns about a change that has occurred as a result of the partial withdrawal of CUPE services

“I’m sitting outside with signs, asking the principal and School Board to lock the front door,” said Elizabeth Rubec, a parent of two children at the school.

“As of Monday, they’ve refused to use the buzzer system and have the doors wide open allowing anybody to walk into the school.”

The buzzer system Rubec referred to is the standard system in place at all elementary schools throughout the Limestone District School Board (LDSB). According to the LDSB Visitors Policy, “All of our elementary schools are equipped with a Safe Welcome system which requires all external doors be locked during the school day. All visitors are required to report to the school’s main entrance and request access using an intercom and buzzer system.”

However, as CUPE announced the partial withdrawal of their services pending contract negotiations, a number of services attended to by CUPE workers have ceased.

“Some duties, such as sweeping of hallways or entrances and the operation of the front door buzzer in elementary schools, and clerical duties were struck duties,” said Jane Douglas-Charanduk, Communications Officer with the LDSB.

“The safety and well-being of our students, and the safe operation of our schools is our top priority every day. Safety protocols are reviewed regularly. In instances involving a change to school routines, such as a withdrawal of service by staff, safety protocols are reviewed as needed, and appropriate changes are made as required.”

According to Douglas-Charanduk, the front door of elementary schools throughout the Board are remaining open during the instructional day during this time of job action, and the Board and administrators continue to monitor closely.

For Rubec, that plan is unacceptable.

“Our children are supposed to be coming here to be safe every day, parents were not notified that this would be happening, they just have one little sign outside,” said Rubec, noting that her daughter has potentially been suspended after she refused to return to class because she felt unsafe.

“[The Board] promised us that, with this work to rule, our children’s safety would not be an issue and they wouldn’t be jeopardized, but however their safety is being jeopardized every single minute of every single day that this door is open,” Rubec continued.

“All I want is for them to keep the doors locked. It takes two seconds to push a button.”

Rubec noted that, while she supports the educations assistants and other CUPE workers during this period of job action, she is simply asking that her children’s school be safe throughout the process.

“I’ve started a petition for parents to sign asking them just to close the doors. I’m 100 per cent backing up all the EAs and what they’re asking for, I’m just asking that our school be safe while they go through their strike or whatever. That’s all I want.

According to Douglas-Charanduk, the “school safe arrival program has a number of safety measures in place,” including the buzzer system, as well as cameras at the front door entrance, and sign-in procedures.

“Visitors will continue to be greeted by office staff when they enter school buildings and must sign in at the office before proceeding anywhere,” Douglas-Charanduk said.

“All other exterior doors to elementary schools will continue to remain closed.”

The group of protestors said they intend to return to the school and protest again on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.

Kingstonist continues to monitor the CUPE job action situation as it pertains to local schools. We will provide more updates as new information becomes available at

The sign posted at the front of Molly Brant Elementary School taken Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019.

5 thoughts on “Parents protest at Molly Brant Elementary as doors remain unlocked

  • The likelihood of anyone going into the school to harm a student, or take one, without being stopped at the front desk, is incredibly small. I’ve always thought the whole buzzer thing was unnecessary. The cameras and sign in procedures are fine.

  • Why don’t you volunteer to monitor the buzzer throughout the day? (If you can’t because you don’t have time, you should understand that without the CUPE staff, neither do the teachers and principals.)

  • Oh come on, you can’t push a button. I was speaking to my sister yesterday, and said you all need to work in the non union sector for a day!!!!

  • Is someone about to commit a sexual assault or steal a child at gunpoint likely to report to the office? It’s nice to know we’ll have a picture of whatever criminal enters the school to do evil. We don’t need another Sandy Hook here. Show some sense, school board. I remember years ago reporting to the main office at Rideau because there was a sign asking me to do so. The secretary looked at me in a very confused manner when I did that. Obviously, that sign wasn’t obeyed too often.

  • I dont ever remember the doors being locked when I went to school and we were all perfectly safe and happy. This is just a bunch of whining parents looking to make this hole process even harder for everyone.

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