Ballenas Secondary students staged a Climate Change Walkout on Friday. (Peter McCully photo)

Voice of youth resonates with organized walkout

“I believe the children are our are future,

Teach them well and let them lead the way”

We’ve all heard the song lyrics. And they continue to ring true.

We saw a fine example of those young people who represent our future on May 24.

As part of a global ‘climate change student strike day’, nearly 200 students from Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary left school after lunch and walked down to Parksville city hall for their own Climate Change Walkout.

This wasn’t some frivolous endeavour, designed to allow kids to cut class. Student Casey Reumkens summed it up eloquently in a piece for the PQB News: “How can we generate climate change conversations? Why is it important for our voices to be heard?”

And this is the key.

Whatever your opinions are on climate change, their must be a conversation. And as the ones who will indeed lead us into the future, it’s important for those young voices to be heard.

“The whole walkout came from students and our hunger for change,” said Reumkens.

Ahead of the walkout, students attended a mandatory forum on climate change, which included a variety of guest speakers.

READ MORE: ‘Why is it important for our voices to be heard?’

The collective student effort drew much praise, deservedly so.

“I am so proud of these kids. They have gotten involved in a positive way,” said Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne.

Of course, a handful of Grumpy Guses and Gerties immediately took to their keyboards to take online potshots at the kids, calling them brainwashed, idealistic and calling for them to sell anything they owned that has a negative impact on the environment, and so on.

Don’t listen to them. Continue to carve your own path. Ensure your voices will be heard.

“Everyone was incredibly passionate, and I know this was a day we will remember,” said Reumkens.

“This is a story to tell our children, whose futures will be brighter due to people like us who are willing to start a conversation, who want to create change.

“From the moment the walk started, to the moment it finished, we felt a sense of community within each other. It felt like anything was possible.”

Well said, Casey.

We hope these young people never lose that feeling or that sense of community. Keep proving to us that the future is in good hands.

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