A young person with a sign that says “Climate change is worse than Voldemort” at the Global Climate Strike event in Chilliwack on Sept. 20. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack and Fraser-Cascade school districts allow students to attend climate strike events

Two districts join others in Lower Mainland to OK skipping classes with parental permission

Chilliwack and Fraser-Cascade school districts are the latest to allow students to skip school to attend global climate strike day events this Friday with parental permission.

The decisions come on the heels of similar decisions by Langley, Surrey and Vancouver school boards.

• READ MORE: Surrey school district OKs students skipping class for global climate strike

The full message posted on the Chilliwack school district’s Facebook page:

“The Chilliwack School District is committed to sustainability and has a Board Policy that articulates that the District and its staff have a responsibility to foster and reinforce a positive environmental ethic and stewardship. The District encourages students to be socially responsible, contributing citizens. On September 27, 2019, the global climate strike day, parents may excuse their child from class if they choose. These students will be recorded as absent and will be allowed to make up any academic work missed. School will be in session for students and staff as normal on September 27, 2019.”

The Fraser-Cascade board, which oversees schools in Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and Boston Bar, said something similar on Twitter:

“On September 27, 2019, the global climate strike day, parents may excuse their child from class if they choose. These students will be recorded as absent and will be allowed to make up any academic work missed. School will be in session for students and staff as normal.”

While the post regarding the permission was made on Wednesday, it was not a decision of the elected board but rather an administrative decision. Still, a number of trustees expressed support for the decision, pointing out how it aligns with the district’s climate policy.

One trustee pointed also to district policy 719, which states: “The Board of Education believes that the maintenance and care of our environment is vital to the quality of our health and well-being. Further, it believes that the district and its staff have a responsibility to foster and reinforce a positive environmental ethic and stewardship.The Board is committed to continuous improvement of energy management and helping to create socially responsible student.”

On Sept. 20, about 200 people, including a group from Chilliwack middle school, attended the first Global Climate Strike day event at Five Corners downtown Chilliwack.

The event was one of hundreds held around the world.

• READ MORE: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

• READ MORE: PHOTOS: Students worldwide skip class to demand action on climate


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Chilliwack organic farmer Natalie Forstbauer speaks at the Global Climate Strike event in Chilliwack on Sept. 20. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

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