Aurora Sarchet, a Trinity Western University student, made a sign for a Climate Strike protest on Friday, Sept. 20 at Langley Township Civic Facility. The Langley School District released a statement that it would allow its students to be absent for Sept. 27 events with parental permission. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley School District okay with students missing class for global climate strike

Students must have their parents’ permission and will be allowed to make up missed academic work.

The Langley School District won’t penalize students who take part in Friday’s global climate strike as long as they have been given permission by their parents.

The district came out with a brief statement that said it is committed to sustainability and has supported a number of environmental and energy conservation initiatives.

After the district released a statement, the board, as its Tuesday evening meeting, passed a motion supporting students efforts in lawful climate strike activities.

“Student involvement in global issues is a sign of engagement and that is what we encourage in all our students. We must show our students that their voices matter and are heard,” said trustee Marnie Wilson. “… I encourage parents, whether they allow their child to attend or not, to have discussions with your child.”

“The District encourages sustainability in student learning and continues to encourage students to be socially responsible contributing citizens,” the statement read.

Parents can pull their kids out of class to participate in the international environmental event taking place in various sites around the globe. The school board discussed the issue Tuesday evening.

“It just seems inappropriate for us to encourage people not to attend when we’re trying to get people to attend school,” commented trustee Rod Ross.

Parents can excuse their children from school and that’s where it should stay, he said. He’s concerned the school board is approving not attending school.

Trustee Shelley Coburn said it lines up with curriculum about learning about the world, self-directed learning and engagement.

“They’re not just skipping,” she said. “They’re going to exercise their voice.… If they’re going, they’re engaged.”

Trustee David Tod said he’s wrestled with the issues but believes it’s important for youth to be active in environmental issues.

“Not every family is going to look at this as a great thing,” noted board chair Megan Dykeman, but she wanted the board to discuss a statement that supports students but also spells out the expectations.

Students will be recorded as absent and will be allowed to make up academic work that was missed Sept. 27. For those not attending, school will be in session as normal.

The global climate strike is a movement that saw people take to the streets around the world mostly between Sept. 20 and 27. A small group of people in Langley protested Sept. 20 at the Langley Township Civic Facility.

On Friday, there are gatherings in Holland Park in Surrey, in Mission, and at UBC and Vancouver City hall.

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