As Mission teachers formed picket lines outside schools Thursday, a group of local students organized a walk-in at Heritage Park Secondary to protest the disruption to their education.
“We’re trying to show that we all have a desire to learn,” said Bridget Berner, one of the organizers of the event. “The strike has done nothing but upset students.”
About 15 students attended the event. Inside the school, students studied for exams before walking to the local MLA’s office of First Avenue and the school district office on Fourth Avenue to share their views.
“What we’re trying to express is that as students, we are done with being caught in the middle of negotiations and essentially used as a bargaining tool,” added Josh Fischer. “Our education is on the line and we want to fix that.”
According to Grade 11 student Alex McSween, one of the walk-in participants, the group will be putting together a letter to teachers and the provincial government, and will be coordinating a similar event next week if the BC Teachers’ Federation job action escalates to a full strike. Details of that event have not been finalized.
“We’re hoping more people will join us in showing that our education is currently being harmed,” said Berner. “And not just our education, but future students; education if this doesn’t get settled.”
BCTF began job action in April by refusing supervision outside classrooms and communication with school management, and escalated to rotating strikes about three weeks ago. About 86 per cent of teachers voted this week in favour of a full strike which could begin next week.
Bargaining is expected to continue with the province through the weekend.