Canberra is no stranger to protests, as proven by recent times, but on this day in 1983 it was a protest held by students of Campbell High School that made the front page.
The students had been suffering through a very different March than the one we are currently in, as hot weather disrupted classes to the extent that about 50 students staged a protest against learning in the temperatures. They remained in the canteen after lunch, refusing to return to their classes.
The school principal, Mr Peter Searle, said they wanted to know what measures could be taken. He listened to their grievances for half an hour before instructing them to return to class. Most of them did return, but some refused to stand down and instead took action, turning on a fire alarm and a number of manual fire extinguishers.
Another defiant student was said to have run through the corridors, calling out to his peers to join him in a mass student walk-out. A parent of one student alleged that a small riot had taken place, but Mr Searle denied this. He admitted the heat caused issues, but, as there was no solution, they would have to just "try and put up with it."
The heat had forced suspension of classes at other schools, including Erindale College, Wanniassa High School, and Woden TAFE College. Mr Searle explained that Campbell at least had windows that opened, a feature some other schools lacked. He said it would not solve the problem to send the students home.
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