by Caitlin O’Brien
The issue of climate change has become a defining moment in our generation. Many students are making the decision to protest the government persuade them to do more for the environment. Teens want to speak out and ensure that they have a future that they can look forward to. Global activist Greta Thumberg is just one example; a sixteen year old from Sweden, she became known to the world last year as she went on strike from school to sit outside her country’s parliament, protesting their lack of greater action on climate change. She spoke at the recent UN Climate Action Summit, urging world leaders to do more. Inspired by people like her, others have started to advocate for government action.
On September 20th 2019, Greenwich High School students decided to partake in the international Climate Strike March. Many left their classes and risked getting a cut to protest the US government’s policy on climate, which they view as apathetic and insufficient. One junior (who wishes to remain anonymous) stated, “I think it’s good if people participate because it is an issue people should take seriously.”
Yet, many students wondered whether or not they should miss class and get a cut. This left even environmentally-concerned students feeling torn. A representative from the Environmental Action Club spoke with Mr Mayo regarding the issue of getting a cut from the class for attending. He said that the administration had to give consequences, giving cuts and unexcused absences, because it is school policy that leaving during class has repercussions. However, there was also a possibility of having students and administrators come together to plan an optional school wide walkout where there would be no cuts in future years.
Greenwich High and communities across the world, see teenagers taking a stand, despite backlash from people who deny this is an issue. These teens are determined to actualize their vision of the future by taking time out of their days to support an issue they feel has been ignored by government leaders and citizens alike.