PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Calling it a global day of action, students all over the metro area walked out of class Friday and rallied at their city halls, demanding changes that result in a reversal of global climate change.

Friday's movement spans more than 100 countries and more than 1,500 cities and towns.

FOX 12 spoke with a group of walkout organizers in Portland. Many of the students say they’ve been involved in climate activism since they were 8 or 9 years old. The teenagers say they’re proud to be part of this global effort.

The walkout began at around 10 a.m. Students marched to Portland City Hall, located 1221 Southwest 4th Avenue.

Students at City Hall protested the lack of progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raised public awareness about what they consider a climate crisis.

"I don't want people to grow up and only learn about polar bears, and other species that are going extinct, from books. I think that's just wrong," said Chani Daly, senior at Lincoln High School.

"A lot of adults think that kids don't know better and really don't pay attention to kids," said Avery Clark, student at Rex Putnam High School. "If we can get a big movement like this, then maybe they'll start finally paying attention."

The Portland students are also demanding that Portland Public Schools fulfill a promise made with Resolution 5272 - a district commitment to develop climate curriculum, provide teacher training and review textbooks for scientific accuracy on global warming topics.

Some of the schools sent out a notice to parents that the walkout would not be an excused absence and that it's possible the kids could face discipline.

Walkout participants say the walkout was inspired by a teenage girl from Sweden who started the movement months ago and is now a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

A representative from the Portland Public School District says they recognize the rights of students to assemble and demonstrate, but they encourage kids to do it outside the school day to minimize disruptions. 

Any PPS student who chose to walkout was given an unexcused absence. 

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

Alexander Marinesko

It's about time!!! Now go home and turn off your gas furnace for heat, your gas water heater, walk or ride your bike everywhere you go, don't ride the bus and above all don't fly or take the train. Now remember most electricity comes from coal, so turn off your electricity.

NWR8rfan

Any teacher or principal that allows any student to walk off of campus to protest anything should be fired on the spot. Kids can't leave without permission slips, period. Using minors a pawns for a personal or political fodder is criminal. Allowing children to decide when they can and cannot leave campus is irresponsible at best and should be condemned.

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