Leicester students walk out of schools to protest climate change

By Emily Rooney

Students from schools across Leicester left school last Friday (March 15) to protest against the government’s stance on climate change.

The strike for the climate movement was started in Sweden by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old student who started skipping school to protest outside the Swedish parliament building for government reform to combat climate change every Friday afternoon.

The students striking in Leicester comprised of school children aged from three to 18.

Instagram account @climatestrikeleicester posted a live-stream the event and has also posted photos from it.

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Young protester Imran, from Queen Elizabeth I College, a spokesperson for Climate Strike Leicester and spoke to BBC Radio Leicester on the morning of the protest.

When talking about the decision to skip school for the protest, Imran said “it’s a choice between a couple of hours of lessons and taking part in possibly the largest coordinated young people’s movement in global history.”

Many students are protesting because they feel the government and global powers are not doing enough to tackle climate change, after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in October 2018 stated that there are just 11 years before the impacts of climate change cannot be reversed.

The National Association of Head Teachers opposed the walkout, saying: “Pupils should only be out of school in exceptional circumstances. Whilst NAHT supports the right of young people to express themselves, first and foremost, pupils should be in school during term time.”

Imran responded to officials condemning the students, telling BBC Radio Leicester: “We’ve been accused of truancy, but two weeks ago there was the first Parliamentary debate on climate change in two years and only 40 out of 600 MPs could be bothered to show up. I think that’s truancy that we really should be worried about.”

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  1. […] To understand 16 year-old Greta Thunberg’s reasons for initiating the strikes read here: Leicester students walk out of schools to protest climate change […]

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