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Local students join provincewide walkout

Ballenas Senior Secondary School students (from left to right) Stephani Goulet, Nikk Beach, Alex McCoy, Eric Tomasson, and Kamiko Fraser are just a few of the 100 students who took part in a student protest to support teachers on Friday, March 2. - Brenda Gough Photo
Ballenas Senior Secondary School students (from left to right) Stephani Goulet, Nikk Beach, Alex McCoy, Eric Tomasson, and Kamiko Fraser are just a few of the 100 students who took part in a student protest to support teachers on Friday, March 2.
— image credit: Brenda Gough Photo

Thousands of high school students across B.C. walked out of classes on Friday afternoon to make their voices heard in the prolonged teachers' dispute with the province.

At Ballenas Senior Secondary School a handful of students, some with placards supporting teachers began to gather across the street from the high school at around 2 p.m.

By 2:30 p.m. up to 100 students had joined the walkout and the Oceanside RCMP were on scene making sure things stayed calm.  On two occasions Constable Pam Casey had to speak to some students who were getting dangerously close to passing cars.

Principal Don Boyd was present during protest preventing the media from stepping onto school property to take photos or speak to students.

The first small group of protesters to show support for teachers was led by Joey Ecker, Aemilia Hill and Dylan Bolger who's signs read "we love teachers".

Eventually they were joined by at least 100 students and when the school bell rang even more kids joined the action.

Kimiko Fraser who jumped into the crowd with her sign supporting teachers said her aunt is a teacher and she believes they deserve a contract.

Stephanie Goulet was also siding with the teachers.

"I'm here because I think teachers are being mistreated," she stated.

Students at Springwood Middle School who considered their own protest were told it wouldn't be permitted during school hours.  Tandy Gunn, acting Vice-Principal said her schools number one priority was safety when they told students they would be expected to be in class during school hours and any variation would result in consequences.

"They were told that social media promoted it without concern for their safety and by law, the school is in charge of their safety during school hours."

 

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