KDSS students stage walkout against curriculum changes


By Barb McKay


Students at Kincardine District Secondary School staged a peaceful protest on Friday against changes to the public school curriculum.


Roughly 200 students walked out of the high school at 1 p.m. and stood on the front lawn of the school to show their disapproval of the Ontario government’s decision to remove the new sex ed curriculum, as well as cutting Indigenous revisions to the curriculum.


The walkout was initiated by the school newspaper club on Friday morning, which gained the support of KDSS student council.


“We planned this after learning about what’s happening with the curriculum,” said Grade 11 student Savanah Ramsdale. “A lot of us have younger siblings. It’s not fair that they don’t get to learn what I got to learn. Times have changed – why are we teaching things from 1998?”


Nickoloas Murray, a Grade 10 student and editor of the student newspaper, was thrilled with the turnout.


“I’m really fond of the number of people who came out, not to skip class but to show their support,” he said.


Kushali Shah, co-president of student council, said that once the council learned of the protest it spread the word.


“We want change,” she said. “Instead of expanding the curriculum for the LGBTQ+ community, the government is limiting it.”


“I don’t like the idea of my siblings not even knowing about consent or puberty,” said Grade 11 student Chloe Page.


The lack of Indigenous studies in the curriculum has also upset students.


“I want to learn about our roots,” said Grade 11 student Jada Goodman.


Savanah said she learned about residential schools from a youth group, not history class.


“The fact is that they aren’t letting us know about the bad things from our past. That’s how we learn – from our past.”


Other schools around the region, including Sacred Heart High School in Walkerton, staged similar protests.


“I’m glad our school is getting involved,” Jada said, “since we are in our own little bubble here. It doesn’t matter how small your school is.”