Some Foothills area students took a break from school last week.
And although they weren’t sitting in a classroom studying reading, writing and arithmetic, the 20 minutes they spent outside of their respective schools on Friday may have been the most important lesson they learned all week.
The approximately 130 students who walked out of class at Foothills Composite and Strathona-Tweedsmuir schools got a lesson in civil disobedience as they respectfully stood up for their peers who they feel may be threatened by the new government’s proposal to revoke Bill 24 and allow teachers to out gay students to their parents under extreme circumstances, such as for the youth’s safety.
Premier Jason Kenney has maintained students’ rights will be respected, but this is also about parents’ rights as well and for the protection of the youth.
However, that wasn’t good enough for the students involved in the walkout.
Whether the walkout will have any impact under the dome in Edmonton remains to be seen, but for sure the students’ voices have been heard.
The well-organized walkout – which was held at schools across Alberta — drew national attention.
Even from Kenney, who welcomed the students’ message, but urged them not to skip school to do it.
Twenty minutes out of a school day isn’t going to ruin a student’s high school career.
The students were respectful and most importantly knowledgeable about the subject for which they were rallying.
This was not a coffee break, it was a valuable learning experience that will help them regardless of their future endeavours.
Who knows? The experience may lead to these young adults sitting in Edmonton or Ottawa battling legislation they opposed as students in the Foothills.