Letter: Not too many students attend climate change rally in Red Deer

I was at the Climate Change event at Red Deer City Hall on Sept. 27, and I was disappointed to see only a few students there.

After contacting the Red Deer Public School Board, I was told that students were not prevented from attending, but it appears there was no interest in this Youth Climate Action Campaign.

This shows a marked difference, with other communities in Alberta and Canada.

This is puzzling because reading from the Red Deer Public School Board pledge statement:

Promote the intellectual, physical and mental wellness of our students.

Instill in every student a strong sense of belief in societal involvement, values and responsibilities.

In comparison this from the Calgary Board of Education:

The role of education is to teach students values, develop stimulated intellect, understand tolerance for disagreeable belief systems, dig out opportunities to question what exists, and contribute to the growth of the human society. The Calgary Board of Education: “Barring students from climate change protest disagrees with the role of education.”

And from Edmonton:

Students were expected to attend marches so the Edmonton Public Schools discussed the issue on Sept. 27 and passed a motion saying students may attend with their parents’ permission.

Edmonton Catholic Schools said it would not stand in the way if any students had permission to attend the event. “We believe student voice is important,” ECS said in a statement. “If a parent approves their child’s absence to attend the Climate Strike, this will be considered an excused absence.”

I believe our community can do better, and hope that future climate change action will be of increased interest and support.

Sam Denhaan, Red Deer

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