Students, school staff raise climate change concerns

With signs, chants and sheer enthusiasm, a group of Hapnot Collegiate students helped raise local awareness of a global issue, demonstrating to raise awareness of climate change.

About 40 people, including students, teachers and administrators stepped out during their lunch break to help raise awareness of pollution, overconsumption and other environmentally sensitive subjects.

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Daniel Dillon, a Many Faces Education Centre teacher who helped organize the demonstration, said the inspiration for the event was Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen climate activist whose influence has spread the Fridays for Future movement worldwide.

“There is a national initiative for students, they are stepping out and and we’re being part of that movement here in Flin Flon,” Dillon said.

Flin Flon School Division superintendent Tammy Ballantyne and board of trustees chair Murray Skeavington also attended the march, which took place along Highway 10A. Across Canada, dozens of similar demonstrations were held Friday, with some in major centres drawing tens of thousands of students and activists.

“The earth is dying and we need to do something about that, to prevent that,” said Hapnot student Nivi Ranjit.

“We have to protect what we have and make sure our planet has a future,” added student Lakotah McLeod.

The group received many thumbs-up from passing motorists and car horn honks of approval. Dillon said the reaction from students, staff and the public alike, had been overwhelmingly positive.

“These students don’t get the opportunity to vote - they’re under the voting age. This is a way for them to have a say, have a voice in their community and show something that will affect them in the future,” he said.

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