September 25, 2019
As you are no doubt aware, people around the world are joining Climate Strike activities this week between September 20 and 27 to bring focus to the vital issue of climate change. From Antarctica to Australia, young people and their adult allies are standing together against the degradation of the planet. This is the most pressing issue facing all of us. BC’s curriculum embeds learning about environmental education, critical thinking, and social and personal responsibility.
Across the province in school districts and communities, rallies are taking place on Friday, September 27th. Vancouver School Board declared a Climate Emergency at their regular Board meeting September 23rd and is supporting student advocacy on the climate change issue. Surrey’s Superintendent of Schools issued a letter to parents last week on the issue, and schools and school districts across Canada are responding to the Climate Protests focused on youth advocacy. Sixteen year old Greta Thunberg has spoken this week at the UN Climate Conference, and is the organizing voice for young people to urge governments to take action in regards to the climate crisis in Fridays for Future youth protests. In our school district, secondary students from one school protested last Friday as a result of their passion about Climate Change Action and also took part in protests and conversations with community in the spring.
In regards to this Friday’s planned strike, please ensure the following:
- That students who are striking for climate action on Friday are who are missing tests, major assignments or demonstrations of learning in order to attend these events, are given opportunities to make up that missed work without penalty
- That any secondary student who plans to attend a climate action protest has signed parent permission to miss school, and that elementary students are excused and released from school only when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
We recognize that teachers may choose to continue designing learning activities for students in alignment with BC curriculum, engage in discussion about current events regarding the climate action protests, explore the differing views on this topic, examine the climate science that exists, and discuss ways we all may take action as individuals, in our classrooms, in our schools, and in our community or beyond to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with this climate emergency.
Ms. Terry Taylor, Superintendent of Schools