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Parksville Qualicum Beach students walk out of classes
Students across B.C., including many in School District 69, walked out of class Wednesday expressing frustration with the ongoing rotating strikes and partial lockout of teachers.
"This is neither for or against the B.C. Teachers' Federation," said Kwalikum Secondary Grade 10 student Robert Filmer who recently told The NEWS about his frustration with the teachers side of the issue.
Holding a sign saying they are fighting for their education, he was picketing the high school with at least 30 other students first thing Wednesday. Students suggested they would be joined by many more during different class blocks through the day.
"This is not a chess game, we are not pawns!" read another sign summing up the chatter among the group.
"We're tired of being stuck in the middle of this," said one girl, "Don't use us to try and prove your opinions."
Reports on various social media suggest at least 7,000 students across the province planned to walk out.
They were joined in spirit by the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) which said in a news release Tuesday that "the 'feud' between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the government is having a detrimental effect on students, particularly those most vulnerable, and creating financial hardship for struggling families."
They encourage people to write to Education Minister Peter Fassbender and BCTF president Jim Iker about the impact of the strike and lockout.
Meanwhile, negotiations continue, a second teacher strike day is scheduled for the Parksville Qualicum Beach area today (June 5), and any further rotating strike days could be announced, depending on negotiations.