By David F. Rooney
Frustrated by the acrimonious dispute between their teachers and the provincial government, students at Begbie View Elementary School decided to register a protest of their own to all parties in the rotating strike situation and general contract negotiating impasse on Wednesday, June 4.
“We’re protesting because we don’t think this is fair and it’s affecting our education,” said Grade 7 student and protest organizer Emalyn Adam.
“We have some big assignments that are due and we’re not getting all the time we need with our teachers because of the lockout.”
She and 22 other students spontaneously decided to hold their own protest from 9 am until 10 am on Wednesday.
“It’s kind of like we’re being locked out, too,” said student Lauren Channell.
The kids showed a remarkable amount of courage and integrity in deciding to hold their own protest, said SD 19 Superintendent Mike Hooker.
“I wanted them to be safe and to go back to class at the end of the protest,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “A few of them thought they might be in trouble for doing this and I told them ‘No.'”
Hooker was proud of the young students for voicing their opinions. He thought perhaps half of the kids had discussed the idea of staging a protest with their parents.
“I wanted them to be sure they knew what they were doing and why and was pleased to see that many of them did,” he said. “We have really good kids in Revelstoke.”
I agree. For the most part, the young protestors had a pretty good grasp of the issues and wanted it known that they thought the situation between the BC Teachers Federation and the provincial government had gone far enough.
“We’re on strike not just for our teachers, but for our school, too,” said student Jake Leeder.
Now if only all the parents in Revelstoke and elsewhere in BC would speak out as loudly and clearly as their children this situation would be quickly resolved.
When it comes to the education of our children the public has an absolute right to demand better from teachers, elected officials of all kinds and the bureaucrats in Victoria.
If you’d like to register your anger and/or unhappiness over the current state of affairs please send an e-mail or a letter to:
Premier of British Columbia
PO BOX 9041
STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA, BC, V8W 9E1
Minister of Education
PO BOX 9045
STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA, BC, V8W 9E2
CEO of the BC Public School Employers’ Association
This is a generic e-mail as Marchbank is surrounded by minions but does not himself appear on the BCPSEA contact page, meaning he is virtually an invisible man.
400-1333 WEST BROADWAY,
VANCOUVER, BC, V6H 4C1
President of the BC Teachers’ Federation
100 – 550 WEST 6th AVENUE,
VANCOUVER, BC, V5Z 4P2
Chairman of School District 19 (Revelstoke)
This is Alan’s own e-mail address
PO BAG 5800
501 – 11th STREET EAST
REVELSTOKE, BC, V0E 2S0