Approximately 25 students walked out of class at the Kahnawake Survival School (KSS) today.

“ We wanted to ask why all of the teachers are like this – are stressed out,” said Kahionhatenion Cross, a student at KSS. “We wanted to find a way to fix the problem and to see what they could do and what we could do to fix the problem,” he said.

The walk-out lasted approximately 15 minutes with students calling for a meeting with leadership from the KSS, the Kahnawake Educations Centre (KEC) and the Kahnawake Combined Schools Committee (KCSC).

Cross says the decision to stage the walkout came together quickly as word spread among students during the morning. He said he views the meeting as a success.

“There was weight lifted off of everyone’s shoulders today,” said Cross.  “It started off not angry but very aggressive,” said Cross. “But it ended with everybody happy. We all agreed that staff, students, administrators will all work together to find solutions to our problem. We just needed this today so that we could do that,” he said.

The school decided to dismiss classes at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon so that staff could attend the meeting.

Alana Atwin is the Communications Officer for the Kahnawake Education Centre: “In my opinion and from my perspective, it wasn’t just in the classroom — it’s coming from all areas in the community,” she said.

“All of the attitudes that people have, the opinions that people are putting out there, the false information they’re putting out there, the stress of the changes that have been happening in the system – everybody is effected,” she said. “The students are starting to see it and they really wanted to address that.”