Students will be permitted to attend local climate change rallies taking place around Kelowna this week, however, they will be considered absent if they skip class.
Kevin Kaardal, the superintendent of Central Okanagan Public Schools district, said the local school district doesn’t have the authority to excuse students to participate in the events because they can not guarantee their safety.
“We are not aware of what planning has occurred to ensure the safety of participants during these events (or) if safe travel to and from these events is organized,” said Kaardal in a press release.
“While School Districts are responsible for the safety of students on school property, student safety cannot be guaranteed for students participating in any non-sanctioned activity.”
Last Friday, dozens of students attended the first climate rally held outside Kelowna City Hall. Later on that day more than a dozen climate protesters temporarily shut down Bernard Avenue to demand more action by politicians on the issue.
Dozens of people are in front of Kelowna City Hall to create more awareness and action around climate change. pic.twitter.com/mQk01ckbqC
— Connor Trembley (@ConnorTrembley) September 20, 2019
Kaardal said the school can’t personally dismiss students, however, parents and guardians can contact their school to personally excuse their children.
“Our lessons are carefully planned to support students in meeting curricular competencies. The District encourages students to remain in school and attend their lessons,” said Kaardal.
The remaining two climate rallies are scheduled to be held tomorrow (Thursday) from 1-3 p.m. in the UBCO Central Courtyard and on Friday from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Kelowna City Hall.