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LVR students trade pencils for sleeping bags during 24-hour sit-in support of Leap Manifesto

Standing from left, Sage Cowan, Gillian Wylie and Quinn Barron, with more than 100 of their climate change friends, participate in the 24-hour sit-in Monday at L.V. Rogers High School. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

If the future’s so bright, then why are more than 100 students from L.V. Rogers and Mount Sentinel High Schools sitting in the hallway of the Nelson-based school instead of classrooms Monday.

The reason?

Because at this stage of their young lives, global warming and its effect on the planet is more important than learning about reading, writing and arithmetic.

“Even if nothing happens anywhere else, this event is having an impact on us . . . it’s having an impact on the students that go to our school and we hope it has an impact on others as well,” LVR student Gillian Wylie told The Nelson Daily Monday afternoon amongst a second floor hallway filled with students.

“Even if this only impacts us and the kids in the school this event would still be incredible,” added Sage Cowan, joined by Wylie and Quinn Barron as the organizing team.

The 24-hour sit-in by Project Beginning, which began at midnight Sunday, is to bring attention to the climate issue and their support of the Leap Manifesto on leap day, February 29th, 2016.

The Leap Manifesto is a non-partisan initiative coordinated by the This Changes Everything team.

The Leap Manifesto website said those who have signed include supporters of all of the political parties, and some who support none, but everyone shares the belief that now is the moment for a transformative agenda to come from outside electoral politics, to build a wave of popular support that will put real pressure on the federal Liberal government.

Wylie said the event started with two minutes of silence for students to reflect on climate change.

Later in the day a list of speakers discussed the affects climate change is having on the planet.

 “Our goal educate ourselves and show people in society that students care . . . and youth care about this issue because it is an issue that will affect our future and will shape our generation,” Barron explained.

“And we are future voters and we want to make our voices heard,” he added.

“And it’s not too late to act and we want to make sure that we’re very clear on the course of action we want to take.”

The students expected a call later in the day from one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior advisors to discuss the event.

While students staged the sit-in on the LVR second floor, it was business as usual for the remaining students not participating in the event.

Which goes to show the support the students received from the administration.

“We’re super fortunate to have support of the administration and teachers and staff at (LVR) . . . and our community has also been very supportive of us,” said Barron.

“We’ve had businesses donating food for us, we had five community speakers coming in to address the students .  . . to speak on different aspects of climate change.”

It appears the LVR event was a success — now’s the time to get the rest of the planet involved.

Maybe the future does feel a little brighter now.