Hot on the heels of a demonstration at Pothole Park by valley teachers, David Thompson Secondary School students decided to hold a walkout of their own to express their support.
First thought up by a group of high school students in Vancouver, the idea of student-organized walkouts across the province quickly gained traction over the past few days. The walkouts are in support of the three-day teachers’ strike beginning on March 5, which was announced on Thursday by B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert following a vote earlier in the week.
“The teachers are being bullied,” organizer and DTSS student Alisha Trozzo said. “They’re being bullied by the government, and if you see your best friend being bullied, you want to stop it. I look up to my teachers, they’ve taught me everything I know, and they do not deserve to be bullied like this. We want to show the government that it’s not just the teachers that care, we want to show that this affects everyone.”
Teachers have been on a work to rule mandate since the summer in response to ongoing contract disputes. Among their demands include wage increases and smaller class sizes, and the two sides have been negotiating for a number of months. Teachers held a vote this past week, where reports say 87 per cent of teachers voted in favour of a strike action. Schools will remain open, but with non-unionized staff. However, Rocky Mountain School District 6 has requested parents keep their kids at home, as buses will not be running.
Check back next week for a full breakdown.