Council criticised over plans to limit student climate strikes

There are plans for more protests in September

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Scottish Greens have urged councillors to "see sense" ahead of proposals to restrict how many climate change protests school pupils can take part in.

Edinburgh City Council's education committee will deliberate plans today to limit the number of permitted days off from school for climate change strikes to just one.

Earlier this year, thousands of pupils from more than 100 towns and cities across the country walked out of school to demand urgent government action on climate change.

Green Member of Scottish Parliament Ross Greer said the proposal is a “backward step”.

"Instead of treating these young people like truants, Labour and SNP councillors need to start listening to them.

"They must recognise that school pupils have been forced to take this action by the failure of previous generations to stop the climate crisis.”

More action is planned by the Scottish Youth Climate Strike (SYCS) group in September, joining the continuing global movement started by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Ian Perry from the local authority said there was a "consensus” to support the young people on the issue but there “needs to be a balance”.

A report ahead of the meeting said: "There are other, more productive ways to demonstrate support for climate change."

However, 15-year-old Dylan Hamilton from SYCS said one day a year is not enough to get their message across.

He claimed that while “classic education, such as preparation for exams, may suffer”, striking teaches youngsters “more about society than we've ever been taught.”

He concluded: "We urge Edinburgh council to take back this proposal and instead focus on fixing the climate crisis so we don't feel the need to protest instead of going to school."

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