Category Archives: Student Movement

“We want… education! When do we want it? Now!”

Detroit High School Protest: Students Suspended After Demanding ‘An Education’

About 50 students were suspended Thursday from the all-boys Frederick Douglass Academy in Detroit, Mich. for walking out of classes in protest, demanding “an education.”

Among their complaints: a lack of consistent teachers, the reassignment of the school principal, educators who abuse sick time and a shortage of textbooks.

Secondary Students Assert Power at the BC Rallies

Over a three day stretch, secondary students organized, marched, walked, spoke, and shouted out against oppressive labour legislation in British Columbia and for their teachers and the BCTF.  It’s rare that secondary students get opportunities to unify as a political force at the provincial level, but now in this labour dispute the students are making a difference.  On Friday, 2 March, thousands of students walked out of their classes and schools and rallied across the province.  In Vancouver, the students descended en masse for a rally at the gallery.

On Tuesday, 6 March, at the BC Fed and BCTF rally hundreds of the youth marched with the unions down Government Street and to the steps of the BC Legislature.  For the crowd of 6,000, two young women, Hannah Case and Erin Galbraith, spoke a lotta truth to a power undermining their teachers’ rights.   In Vancouver, on 7 March for the rally at the gallery, secondary students Navi Rai and Melissa Wong stood together on the steps and voiced their support for the teachers’ rights and their right to a fair government.  Both were active in organizing Friday’s walkout.  And raising the roof of nature, Chandler McCorkingdale rapped.  Sorry, BC Liberals, the students and the public are standing with the teachers.

Now, where in the world are the missing BC post-secondary students, especially the Education majors?  Especially now?  I know that some are organizing online.   And I know that the Canadian Federation of Students BC is 100% behind the BCTF and the teachers.  But across three rallies not a single post-secondary student signed onto the speaker’s lists.  Not a single one spoke while thousands of the secondary students have shown their strength as a political force.  Perhaps UBC’s Teacher Education Officer John Yamamoto’s interview with the CBC’s Morning Edition on 7 March is telling.  Yamamoto advised that the Education students should, nay must, remain neutral.  Some advice for the teacher candidates– one gets the sense that he thinks he is advising 700 administration candidates!  Where are the post-secondary students and will the CFS BC organize the group to be heard or present?

BC Secondary Students Walk Out in Protest

It takes a ton of courage for a student to walk out of school and today these young citizens demonstrated en masse across the province.  Every teacher should stand proud as their students stand side by side with one voice.  Every parent of these kids should feel the payoff.  And the students themselves have to know they make the difference for all of us.  This is education (see slide show below).

At the Vancouver Art Gallery, at least 1,500 students convened around 2:00 and stood, spoke, and shouted in solidarity with teachers and the BCTF.  Students at Eric Hamber Secondary seem to have been the first group, exiting the school around 11:00 this morning.  Despite the typically uncooperative weather (5C and rainy), the students were still protesting through the late afternoon.

It has been quite some time since BC saw a student movement but what struck me most was how many showed up and how well organized the demonstration was.  These kids know their politics and how to win hearts.  Signs everywhere with the critique of the BC government’s decision-making loud and clear, a young woman kicked things off: “BC” she shouted and 1,500 hollered back “students”… “BC” she shouted and 1,500 screamed “teachers.”  That’s a solid show of force.

As post-secondary students in BC deal with compounding challenges that seem relentless, let’s hope the high school students spark this from grass roots to an all out BC student movement.  Quebec post-secondary students are putting everything on the line right now.  Time to take inspiration from the younger crowd to stand up and be heard BC post-secondary students!

BC Students Walk Out March 2012 Slide Show (photos by S. Petrina)

Petition in Support of BC Teachers / BCTF

Post-secondary Support of Teachers / BCTF Petition.

Faculty members, librarians, administrators, students, and staff in post-secondary institutions across British Columbia in support of teachers and the BCTF.  All bargaining units deserve a fair process of reaching a collective agreement.

This is for post-secondary to demonstrate support and appeal to the BC Premier and Minister of Education.  From ICES.