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Delta throwback: Students walk out in protest

The school decades later merged with South Delta Senior Secondary, which opened in 1973, to form South Delta Secondary
Grade 8 and 9 students at Tsawwassen Junior Secondary chanted ‘We want a gym!’ during their walkouts in 1968.

Let’s head back to the 1968 pages of the Optimist when students at Tsawwassen Junior Secondary held walkouts to protest the lack of a gymnasium facility at their school.

About 70 grades 8 and 9 students walked out after the noon lunch hour on Tuesday, Oct 8 after 200 had participated in a walkout the day earlier, refusing to return to school after lunch.

Self-appointed spokesperson Michael Lawrence, 15, said six classrooms were being added but many of the current classes were still half-empty, while there was no consideration by the school board for a gym.  

He said students had to go out in the rain for gym class at the new school. If the weather was too wet for students, they had to exercise in a small room or have study period, he said.

Praise for the students came Delta School Board Chair Fred Gingell, who said the whole thing was a question of “too many needs chasing the available dollars.”

School principal John Hudson said, “The students have not done what they believe to be wrong but believe to be right.”

A gym was eventually added.