About 30 students from Penticton Secondary School participated in the B.C. Students Walkout protest to support teachers.
The rally cry of “students care, teachers matter” was heard as the students marched from the high school down to the corner of Main Street and Duncan Avenue. Linda Worden, a Grade 10 student, stressed that the protest was not organized or promoted by the teachers, rather the students are doing it because they value their education.
“I believe the government is completely leaving out the fact that students are the ones affected and the students are the future for this province and this country,” said Worden.
The Grade 10 student said her fellow students concerns also run outside of the classroom. Extra-curricular activities, from sports to music to debate groups, all will be impacted.
Teachers are poised to begin a three-day strike starting Monday after 87 per cent voted earlier this week to move forward with strike action. Teachers have been without a contract since June 2011, with limited job action since the start of the school year. Earlier this week, the B.C. Labour Relations Board approved an escalation in the teachers’ job action, ruling teachers could stage a three-day strike once, as well as a single day per week after the initial walk out.
“We want the strike to be over so we can get back to learning, but at the same time we want our teachers to have the things that they need to teach us properly. I feel like it is the wrong answer to just send them back to work and tell them that if they strike again to improve situations they are going to be fined or potentially lose their jobs,” said Worden.