If you see streets full of rallying high school students around the GTA over the next few days, they aren't just playing hookey. Secondary school students across the province have come together to plan days of action to protest the Ford government.
Students will be leaving class mid-day today and tomorrow in protest of the provincial government's repealed sex-ed curriculum as well as the exclusion of Indigenous issues from the curriculum.
September 21st, our classrooms go purple. They’re going to hear us, each and every one of them.— Decolonize Schools (@decolonizeont) September 13, 2018
Will you be standing with us? #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent
The walkouts are being hashtagged #WeThe StudentsDoNotConsent and #WalkOutForOurEducation. While the main provincial-wide walkout is scheduled for tomorrow from 1 pm - 3 pm, GTA schools such as Malvern Collegiate and Notre Dame Collegiate will walk out of class on today at 1 pm due to scheduling issues.
One of the main student organizers is a grade 11 named, Indygo Arscott who is gender nonbinary and Ojibwe. Together with peers, they are hoping to show the provincial government that they do not agree with the July sex-ed changes. The updated lesson plans will eliminate topics such as same-sex marriage, sexting, and gender identity.
A student guide for the walkouts reads, "We the students need to show our government that we do not consent to this action. The impacts of these changes have been repeated by hundreds of experts: they will not keep our students, our women, our LGBTQ+ community, or our Indigenous population safe. It’s time for us all to stand up and fight for our right to education."
The guide encourages students to publicize their walkouts by creating Instagram accounts, using the movement's hashtags, putting up posters in their school and even making announcements over the P.A. Organizers are encouraging safe and peaceful protests.
Some of the Malvern Collegiate students organizing a walkout to protest the repeal of the 2015 sex ed curriculum. It’s part of a province-wide day of action called #wethestudentsdonotconsent pic.twitter.com/jTwzzuYxrA— Tammie Sutherland (@citytammie) September 20, 2018
It's not clear how many students will be taking place in the walkouts. However, the Facebook page did circulate quite quickly. Students participating in the event are encouraged to wear purple in solidarity.
Some participants are expected to be going the extra mile holding film screenings, fundraisers, and discussions. Arscott is hoping the protest will have a large social media presence, so keep an eye on the hashtags #WeThe StudentsDoNotConsent and #WalkOutForOurEducation for all your updates.