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Okanagan youth conflicted on provincial student walkout

Vernon Secondary School grade 11 students Nicole Metlewsky and Paige Clett say they have been caught in the middle of a difficult situation.
June 03, 2014 - 4:18 PM

OKANAGAN - As teachers strike in shifts across the province this week, it appears students have found a day to voice their own opinions.

The B.C. Student Walkout for Students, launched by Surrey teen Victoria Barker, is set for Wednesday, the only day this week not scheduled to have strike action.

A Facebook group created for the event shows over 12,000 people are participating in the student walkout.

The hype has reached students in the Okanagan, including Nicole Metlewsky and Paige Clett of Vernon Secondary School in Vernon. The two were found sitting outside the school Tuesday working on a French assignment.

They say students are conflicted about the walkout because it would mean losing yet another day of classes during a critical part of the year: exam time.

“I remember when I was in elementary school and it was like, yay a day off. In high school, it’s not like that because you’re working towards something and it’s your future,” Metlewsky says.

Both students are struggling without the opportunity to get extra help over lunch, but they don’t blame their teachers.

“The teachers aren’t the ones who want to do it, but they have to do it,” Metlewsky says.

“It doesn’t seem very fair. The teachers and the students are the ones losing out,” adds Clett.

Clett is planning on joining the walkout, but Metlewsky is writing an English test that day, so the decision is a tough one.

Vernon Secondary teacher James Carr was on the picket line not far from where Clett and Metlewsky were studying and says he respects the student movement.

“It’s their right to express thoughts on their own education,” Carr says. “We encourage kids to have their say always.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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