The conversation regarding climate change continues around the world.
That’s a good thing.
The rallying cries for action continue to get louder.
That’s a great thing.
The Qualicum school district is considering doing its part by not condoning or sanctioning long-distance (off-continent or out-of-province travel) field trips.
At the most recent school board meeting, one trustee asked his colleagues to consider not supporting future field trips involving air travel.
Barry Kurland brought a motion forward that he called “the most obvious thing to do” given current worldwide dicussion on climate change.
So is this merely a symbolic gesture? A great idea? Squishing a mosquito with a sledgehammer?
“It must be confusing for a young student to care so much about the earth, to march for action and then have modelled for them a trip to some place in the world as a curricular enhancement,” Kurland said.
Is it really that confusing?
Can our brightest young minds still care passionately about the environment yet still want to travel with their classmates to learn about other cultures?
Can they not offset something like this in other ways?
Would their educational experience not be enhanced by the opportunities and potential lifelong friendships forged by such trips?
Do we not want our brilliant young scientific minds flying to Florida when their experiments are selected for the International Space Station?
Would the adults in this case be giving up their own holiday flights, to set an example?
Definitely plenty to talk about.
Which is why it was good to hear Dr. Keven Elder, the superintendent of schools, say “I respectfully suggest that we might want to consider how to broaden the conversation.”
Most certainly this is a conversation worth having, with students, parents and teachers alike.
We understand the seriousness of the discussion surrounding climate action, and what it might mean to our youngsters.
But in this case, just as they have a growing voice regarding climate action, they should also have a say in terms of their own extracurricular educational opportunities.
If they agree the “most obvious” thing to do is not support air travel for field trips, then it might actually resonate a little more.