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Trafalgar Middle School students walk out in solidarity

Maddy Reilly, a grade 7 student from Trafalgar Middle School, was named the spokesperson for the student walk-out in solidarity with striking teachers.  - Will Johnson photo
Maddy Reilly, a grade 7 student from Trafalgar Middle School, was named the spokesperson for the student walk-out in solidarity with striking teachers.
— image credit: Will Johnson photo

Maddy Reilly was supposed to leave for a field trip today.

As part of their aboriginal education program, Trafalgar Middle School students were planning to spend some time at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump in Alberta. But due to job action, she ended up standing on a sidewalk with a homemade sign instead.

"We're sick and tired. All the students, including me, are sick of being in the middle of this," the grade 7 student, who was named the spokesperson of the event, told the Star on Wednesday  morning.

Another event, a school performance called Yellow Submarine, was also cancelled. But Reilly said they're willing to continue missing performances and field trips, because they stand in solidarity with the teachers and want them to receive a fair deal from the government.

"All they want is smaller class sizes and some more money," said Reilly. "They're taking care of 20 to 29 students every day and they don't get paid enough."

The Trafalgar students are just a local example of a province-wide trend. A Facebook event called BC Student Walkout currently has 13,800 people RSVPed as "going".

A walk-out was also planned at L.V. Rogers Secondary, but as of 9:45 on Wednesday morning, few students had participated. Some students plan to march in solidarity with their teachers on Thursday.

Meanwhile, an unusual number of students were seen wandering around downtown Nelson in large groups. Whether or not they were skipping class or attempting to make a statement wasn't immediately clear.

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