It Is Our Time
Southgate Secondary School
Campbell River, British Columbia

By Kris (grade 12)

There was many an eye of an awe-struck teacher observing their students forming "deep thoughts" at the BC Student Voice Forum on May 16/96 in Campbell River. Students from all over the Northern Vancouver Island Region were brought together in hopes for further networking and communication among schools all over British Columbia. Although some people believe that this will not be in place for a few more years, this forum made many see that the possibilities are easily within our grasp. This is definitely our time to speak out and be heard as we are becoming a provincial wide united body of students.

The forum we held in Campbell River on May 16 was certainly an extremely Interesting one. During the morning session, two representatives from the Rick Hansen Foundation based at UBC came in to do a workshop on the new BC Life Skills program. This program was developed as a tool for both students and teachers in Career And Personal Planning (C.A.P.P.); a class that in my experience has been rejected by many students. Fortunately for all, this workshop turned every head in the room into looking at this supposedly "dull" class with renewed light and exciting possibilities. At the lunch break I was happy to hear many discussions focusing on the positive side of course once viewed quite negatively.

During the afternoon session we used the topic of violence within our schools and communities to come up with some ideas on how to formulate concrete action plans. This type of information and skill usage will become more and more important as the networking between schools grows in complexity. Already there are districts planning to hold local forums amongst the local schools of the area to broaden the range of student representation and involvement throughout the North Island Region. This butterfly process of school to district, to region, then finally to the province will be the base for an expanding student influence on every issue affecting our education and those to follow.

Yes indeed, they can be taught... as well as inspired! For those of you out there in the "real world' who believe that the mood of todays youth has become melancolic and indecisive I think that it is about time that you took a look at what is really out there. We have definitely become a force to be reckoned with and, I truly hope, listened to. I was fortunate enough to be able to lead a of group teenage students through a day filled with contradictions and powerful opinions. With the experiences I have gained through multiple forums such as this I can go ahead with a positive feeling that students will no longer allow themselves to be left sitting in the dark.</ P>

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