Alberni high school students walk out to support teachers

Alberni high school students walked out of school an hour early to support teachers who are set to strike on Monday.

Alberni District Secondary School students march en mass to the School District 70 office on Friday afternoon. The students walked out of school an hour early to show support for teachers



Between 60-80 Alberni District Secondary School students walked out of school an hour early in a show of solidarity to support School District 70 teachers who are poised to strike.

With the sound of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changing echoing from a boom box in the background, students left school at noon, an hour and a half before their school day was scheduled to end.

They walked along 11th Avenue carrying placards reading This Is Our Future, I Support Teachers, Negotiate Don’t Legislate and Who Cares About Us?.

The high school students marched along 11th Avenue to the new high school on Roger Street then down Roger Street to the school board office, where they stood chanting for a half hour before being told by an official inside that the police were being called.

Don’t underestimate how much students understand about the issue, or how much a small town protest can mean, organizer Jenna Comeau said.

“I’m happy with the turnout, it’s about as much as we expected and it was civil,” Comeau said. “Just because we’re doing this in a small town doesn’t mean it can’t make a difference.”

Comeau said she and others got the idea from Facebook earlier this week after seeing students in Vancouver planning a protest. “We thought ‘why not do it here’ and it just escalated,” Comeau said. “We want our teachers to know they’re not alone.”

Alberni students protestLarger class sizes under new legislation concerns Grade 11 student Colin Simister. “There’s already 28 to 30 students in some classes and with more there’s no way teachers can possibly get to help all of us,” he said. “I’m prepared to accept any consequences for what I’m doing today too.”

Watching government deny teachers a basic right is disturbing, and is what prompted Grade 12 student Connor McDonald to participate in the protest.

“We think it’s unfair for it to be made illegal to strike,” McDonald said. “What’s the point in having that right if it’s just going to be taken away — that’s not a right, that’s a privilege.”

Police vehicles unobtrusively followed the protest and cordoned off traffic at 12th Avenue and Redford Street to allow students to pass.

There was only one incident that involved the driver of a pickup truck who stopped in the middle of the street and swore out his window at the students.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Alberni university zeroes in on disability and poverty

BY MIKE YOUDS SPECIAL TO THE NEWS The road to poverty can… Continue reading

Celebrate cycling in Port Alberni during Bike to Work and School Week

Numerous ‘celebration stations’ are planned for May 28 to June 2

Ahousaht welcomes massive Surfrider Canada conference to Meares Island near Tofino

“It was the first time we’ve all come together.”

Alberni RCMP kept busy with 170 calls over May long weekend

Detachment answers calls from fatal vehicle crash to man with a gun, trailer thefts

Alberni pub owner kicks off new event for car lovers

Car enthusiast Helen Poon debuts Cars and Coffee on May 27

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

Most Read