June 05, 2014 - 2:26 PM
KAMLOOPS - Only about 50 secondary students were absent from Kamloops schools today during a province-wide student walkout—a pretty average number on any given day in the school district—but today most were protesting.
Superintendent Terry Sullivan says between 47-50 secondary students, across three schools, and seven or eight elementary age students were absent today and most of them were participating in the walkout. NorKam had the largest attendance disruption with about 25 students participating.
“Attendance was normal,” Sullivan says. “(The impact) was very minimal. Parents were very supportive… with exams, post secondary plans, etc. We’ve got enough disruptions right now.”
The number is relatively low given the 5,600 secondary students in the district and the amount of chatter on Facebook prior to today. Sullivan says the proactive approach of principals and a message sent out to parents making them aware of the planned student walkout helped keep the numbers low.
The parents of any students who did walkout today were called to either pick up their child or tell them to go back to class.
“Parents can support them, that’s their right, but we don’t want that on school property,” Sullivan says, “Many parents said (their children) were not to be excused from class.”
As for the lunch demonstrations that took place at several schools Sullivan says those were done properly, on the students own time and with little disruption to those students who were actually trying to attend class.
“They have a right to express themselves.”
The province-wide student walkout, organized through Facebook, took place on the only day where no teachers were striking. Teachers are in the second week of rotating strikes with Kamloops teachers set to hit the picket lines Thursday, June 5.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014