Students in the Sooke, Saanich and Greater Victoria school districts will not be punished for missing class on Friday for student walkouts – but they’ll need parent permission.
Students around the world, led by climate activist Greta Thunberg have been marking Global Climate Strike week with five days of demonstrations concluding with a student walkout on Sept. 27.
On Friday, students will leave their classes at 11 a.m. and head to protests in their cities. Participating students on the South Island will make their way to the B.C. Legislature to protest from noon until 5 p.m.
The South Island school districts will not be banning students from leaving the school, nor will students be punished for missing class. However, students will be asked to get parent permission before leaving.
Lisa McPhail, the communications representative for the Greater Victoria School District, noted that unless students have parent or guardian permission, they’ll be expected to be in class. Students wishing to leave for the strike will need to notify the school in advance or have parents pick them up, she explained.
Dave Eberwein, superintendent of the Saanich School District, noted absences need to be authorized and parents will have the final say about their child walking out. Eberwein acknowledged climate change awareness is important to families on the Peninsula and that awareness often requires actions that can “help ensure an environmentally sustainable future.”
“Students are free to exercise their democratic rights,” said Stephanie Sherlock, the media representative for the Sooke School District. “No student will suffer any punitive action for their absence.”