Around 40 students of Charles Spencer High School marched out of class on Friday in solidarity with the LGBQT2S community. They were protesting against the new provincial government’s stance on gay-straight alliances.
“I myself am part of that community, so I wanted to show my support,” says one student, who asked MyGrandePrairieNow.com to remain anonymous.
The walkout was part of a day of action across Alberta, where thousands of students took to the streets to show their desire for the current guidelines surrounding GSAs to stay in place.
“They very excited that they were making their voices heard, and hopeful that they were making a change, if not in government then at least throughout Grande Prairie,” says Gay and Lesbian Association of the Peace Board of Directors member Laura Hawthorne.
“It was great that so many waves and honks came our way, and the cheers were heartfelt,” she adds.
Newly sworn in Education Minister Adriana LaGrange released a statement on social media after the walkouts began.
“The most important job I have as Education Minister is to listen,” she said. “I will have an open line of communication with everyone who has a role in our province’s education system.”
“Our government has been very clear: we do not support the mandatory parental notification, or ‘outing’ of any student,” she added.
LaGrange added she looks forward to speaking with students across the province to hear their views directly.