Students led a march today in downtown Nelson in a demonstration for public education. Over a hundred students followed the procession to City Hall and MLA Michelle Mungall spoke to the student organizers before the march began.
Dunavan Morris-Janzen and Galen Boulanger organized the march to show that students care about their education. Both teens are suppose to be in Grade 12 this year and they don’t want the government to legislate the teachers back to work as they would prefer a negotiated agreement that addresses class size and composition.
“Our voice hasn’t been heard yet,” said Boulanger. “I do my best in a class with 15-20 students so there is back and forth conversation. If you have one person in your class who needs one-on-one attention, that takes the teacher’s attention. That’s fine if you’re an independent learner.”
Morris-Janzen said, “We don’t want the government to legislate the teachers back to work. We don’t want a quick fix. We want a sustained agreement with binding arbitration so the Grade 11s don’t have to go through this next year again.”
They both voiced their concerns that delays to classes starting will delay transcripts needed to apply to universities. However, they both agreed they wish for an negotiated agreement between the government and the teachers’ union.
“We’re willing to endure this for the future,” said Morris-Janzen.