Qualicum students striking for climate change action

Teegan Walshe and Ayanna Anderson have been on a Friday school strike for 25 weeks to raise awareness about the need for more government action on climate change. || Photo by Kevin Forsyth.
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Three Qualicum Beach students are in their 25th week of a school strike to bring awareness to the need for more government action on climate change.

Grade nine students Teegan Walshe, Ayanna Anderson and Lyra Sales spend Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with their signs outside Qualicum Beach Town Hall. Sales was not able to make it today (Feb. 18), but she has been there from the start.

“We’ve just been watching the climate crisis and what’s been happening in the world. I feel like at this point this is one of the ways I see us starting to solve it because it’s pretty desperate right now,” Walshe said.

The students said they want to see more action on climate change from all levels of government.

Last summer’s record-breaking forest fires and deadly heat dome are among the reasons they started the strike, according to Walshe.

Anderson said she is homeschooled, while Sales and Walshe attend Kwalikum Secondary School (KSS). They said they have received quite a bit of support from the school and since COVID-19 restrictions have moved some of their studies online, it is a little easier for them to catch up on missed schoolwork. 

The students have been joined by a few others. “When we saw these guys coming out and having the courage to put themselves out in public, speaking for what they stand for, we wanted to do the same,” said Doug Hopwood, who joined them in the fall.

Walshe and Anderson said they plan to continue their Friday strike until something changes.

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