Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Grade 4/5 Class Petitions Kingston City Hall and Queen’s Park to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

February 25, 2019

Jerri Jerreat’s (B.Ed. ’02) grade 4/5 class at Elginburg DPS in Kingston is taking action to protect the environment. A class discussion on the rights and responsibilities of Canadians and a visit from Derek Ochej, Committee Clerk for the City of Kingston, inspired the class to write a petition to Kingston City Hall to ban single-use plastic shopping bags and polystyrene for food and drink.

The project really got going when MPP Sophie Kiwala visited the school and suggested the students expand their peaceful protest to all Ontario, offering to help the kids with the project. The students have worked hard researching, writing and editing two petitions.

MPP, Nathalie Des Rosiers will present the Ontario petition at Queen’s Park in early April and table a law. In Kingston, city councillor Robert Kiley will read the student’s petition to the mayor and other council members in April.

As Ms. Jerreat says, “My students are exercising their right as Canadian citizens to peacefully protest. They don’t like plastic in the ditches, lakes and oceans. They want to clean things up!”

This is not unusual in Jerri’s classroom – her teaching philosophy is to learn along with the kids and bring the world into the classroom.  She brings inspirational stories into her classes from Boylen Slat’s ocean clean-up  to Greta Thunberg’s climate change activism to William Kamkwamba’s energy innovation. Jerri hopes to “inspire a sense of social justice” in her students, (they write a play annually and, this year, a group of aliens have landed and will attend their school). By bringing these varied stories into the classroom discussions, she aims to empower and engage them as citizens.

To support the students’ petitions, visit the links below, print out the petitions, and follow the directions to submit them.

Petition to ban plastics in Kingston | Petition to ban plastics in Ontario