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My Nikkel's Worth column: Remember the victims

There are innocent victims in any sort of war, and it's usually the kids, says Weyburn Review editor Greg Nikkel in his column this week.

WEYBURN – The worst part of any war, any kind of war really, are the innocent victims of the conflict.

These are usually the children, or people who are inconveniently “in the way” of a conflict, whether it is an armed one such as ongoing with Israel and Gaza, or an unarmed one, such as between teachers and the government.

Anyone who watches the news or any of the news channels will have seen footage of the Middle Eastern conflict, and how people in Gaza are having a hard time getting any food to eat.

There is much more going on there than is shown on newscasts, on both sides of the conflict, and we can only hope and pray that the conflict will ease and help will get to those who need it, regardless of which side one is on.

Here at home, it’s the kids who are suffering in the ongoing labour conflict between the STF and the provincial government.

Sure, the teachers are suffering in that they are not reaching the settlement of contract issues that they are fighting for – but the ones who are truly victims are the children.

When extra-curricular activities are cancelled, or full days of strike action occurs, the students are hurt, not anyone else. At the time of this writing, Hoopla is about to be cancelled. For Weyburn basketball teams, that won’t matter as neither the boys or girls teams were able to qualify for the provincial finals.

But for many teams across the province, they laid their all out on the floor at tournaments and in practice all season, and because of the STF actions, there will be no season-ending tournament (unless, by some miracle, the Hoopla tournament is allowed to go on).

The STF are going to blame the government, of course, but in this case, both sides can take their share of blame as neither party will back down.

Other victims include vocal and band groups who are not being allowed to compete at the Weyburn Rotary Music Festival today (March 20) due to the one-day strike, but at least they will have the evening classes and on Thursday, March 21, some groups will compete, as long as they are curricular. The extracurricular groups won’t be allowed, due to the STF actions.

Everyone would love it if the STF was able to get their contracts settled, but in the meantime, the children are being squeezed out and hurt.