Schoolchildren go on strike for climate change

Strike out: The protesters said the government should declare a “climate emergency”. © Getty

Is it wrong to skip school? Around 15,000 children went “on strike” last Friday in order to protest against climate change. Some teachers supported them, but others said it was wrong.

What’s happening

“It’s important kids have their voices heard,” 11-year-old Sebastian explained last week. He had skipped school to join one of 60 protests in Britain. “If we can come down and make some noise and people see our signs they might think about it more.”

What was he making noise about? Climate change.

Find out more

Last year the United Nations said that Earth had 12 years to prevent catastrophic climate change. This would involve everyone cutting back on greenhouse gases.

Around 15,000 UK children went “on strike” last Friday. They demanded the government try harder to tackle climate change.

They were inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who began skipping school last September. She said it was “great” that UK children were joining in. She called the strikes “the beginning of great changes.”

Another strike is planned for March 15. Is it wrong to skip school to join the protests?

Some say…

It is not worth missing lessons. Nothing is more important than getting an education. That is the only way that children will grow up to change the world. If they want to go to protests, there is plenty of time to do so at the weekends.

Others think…

It is not wrong. Children will live with the consequences of climate change for the longest, and so their voices deserve to be heard. The protests would not have received the same amount of attention if they had happened at the weekend.

You Decide

  1. Will the protests change anything?

Activities

  1. Create a poster which explains things that ordinary people can do to help fight climate change.

Some People Say...

“We are in the middle of the biggest crisis in human history.”

Greta Thunberg

What do you think?

Word Watch

United Nations
A global organisation which brings together countries to solve problems.
Catastrophic
Causing a lot of damage.
Greenhouse gases
Gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming. Many are caused by human activity, such as burning fossil fuels.
Strike
Refusing to do your job (or in this case go to school) as a form of protest.
Demanded
Insisted on.
Consequences
Effects.

Subjects

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