Protesters rally on King George Boulevard Friday (Sept. 20) during Surrey’s Global Climate Strike, which was part of Fridays for Future. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Global climate strike

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

The Surrey school district is making the move to allow students to miss class on Friday, Sept. 27 in order to attend the Vancouver Global Climate Strike.

“We live in an era of global climate change. The signs are all around us,” said superintendent Jordan Tinney in a letter to parents and guardians Sept. 20.

“While there are largescale initiatives around the globe, such as a move to electric cars and alternative forms of energy, it is clear that our efforts are insufficient. It now must be our children who will be the ones to address the issues, to formulate resolutions, and to find the will and dedication to address the complex problems facing our planet. Such will and dedication requires a call to action.”

In his letter, Tinney said many jurisdictions across Canada are making statements about the rallies and potential student participation. He said with that, districts are “reaffirming” their priority of student safety.

READ ALSO: Some Canadian schools, colleges move to accommodate climate strikes, Sept. 18, 2018

“In Surrey, if parents make a choice to excuse their children from school on Friday, September 27th, the district will follow our normal routines of marking students as ‘excused’ for the day,” Tinney says in his letter. “We are also asking our schools to ensure that if any students are excused by their parents for that day, they will be provided the opportunity to make up any missed work or tests without penalty.”

Tinney said “first and foremost,” student should speak with their teachers about missing school.

Tinney said the district encourages parents and guardians to discuss climate change and this global movement with their children.

“Climate change is real and is a critical issue for our future,” he said. “This letter is to ensure that parents are informed and to know that we want to place the responsibility for a decision to participate or not in these rallies where it belongs, which is in the hands of our parents with their children. Student advocacy and engagement in civic and global issues is a key to our future. Our vision for learning includes students caring for self, others and society and if we are to accomplish this, it must be done together.”

There is a rally planned at Vancouver City Hall Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

The climate strikes are part of Fridays for Future, which was started by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg in August of 2018.

Thunberg, 16, sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks to protest the lack of action on climate change.

According to fridaysforfuture.ca, the first climate strike in solidarity with Thunberg in the Americas happened in Canada on Nov. 2, 2018. There were nine youth groups striking. Thunberg will also be taking part in a march in Montreal on Sept. 27.

The rallies, Tinney said, are times to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit Sept. 21 to 23 in New York City.

He said climate change and environmental issues are deeply embedded in B.C. curriculum.

“The teachers who collaborated in writing the curriculum did so with full awareness of the challenges ahead. Educators care deeply about these issues and it is very common – from student leadership initiatives, science fair presentations, community gardens, the numerous recycling efforts and many other initiatives – to see how schools embrace the issues related to our planet and the environment every day,” said Tinney.

READ ALSO: Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike, Sept. 20, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Nine Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read