School students in Bonnyville have planned a walkout protest for today which they have titled “Let Us Breathe.”
The walkout to end all COVID-19 mandates in schools in Alberta was an initiative started in Drayton Valley with a call for all willing Alberta towns to join in.
Parent Amy Schaffrick has one teen attending Notre Dame High School and says her child plans to take part in the peaceful protest against all mandates in school.
“If something not only has zero positive effect but proves overall negative effects, it should be removed immediately,” Schaffrick told Lakeland Connect. “The Walk is called “Let Us Breathe” but it is a peaceful protest against ALL mandates in school. Besides the masks, our young people thrive on school sports, public band concerts to show their musical talent, school assemblies, motivational speakers, and on and on. They have been denied most of these benefits of the brick-and-mortar school setting, and the charts and graphs flooding in have clearly shown that well-meaning as they were, the restrictions did not work. And if something is not only unhelpful but has an overall negative effect, it should be removed immediately.”
The time planned for the walkout is 12:20 p.m.
“In general, I am not a supporter of students skipping classes,” Schaffrick told Lakeland Connect. “However, the method of this public statement is such that students will not come in direct confrontation with any teaching staff. They will miss only two classes, and they will not make a disruptive statement inside the building. We also do not want our youth to feel like political pawns. They have been encouraged to take part in the walkout only if they have permission from their parents.”
The plan is to have students assemble and walk out the front doors when the bell rings signaling the end of the lunch break at NDHS.
“We will walk two blocks together to BCHS and meet those students who will have done the same when their lunch break ends 15 minutes later than the Catholic school,” Schaffrick told Lakeland Connect. “We will walk across the road and gather in the courtyard for a short time. This initiative is a planned province-wide high school walkout primarily inspired by a student group at Drayton Valley High School.”
Schaffrick told Lakeland Connect the students plan on having protests “coming in waves” over the next few months with a variety of demonstrations or events to show their continued efforts to lift unscientific and unproven methods used by the government to manage the pandemic.
Lakeland Connect reached out to NLPS for their comments on the planned walkout. A response was not received by press time.