PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Skipping class to save the climate – that’s what thousands of students around the world plan to do on Friday.
Some say this could be one of the biggest environmental protests in history.
The global student strike for climate change has already begun in some countries. Many high school students in Portland say they too plan on leaving class Friday morning.
“This is not about politics, this is about saving our future,” said high school student and walkout organizer Jaden Winn.
Student Jeremy Clark said, “People are seeing the effects first hand and they’re realizing that these are just the warning signs.”
👀 the list keeps growing. Teens around the world are skipping school for climate change. Friday could be one of the biggest environmental protests in history. Many #Portland students are taking part. @GretaThunberg #ClimateStrike #FridaysforFuture #SchoolsStrike4Climate #fox12 pic.twitter.com/eqZUmqkFA1— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) March 14, 2019
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 and they say climate change has nothing to do with politics.
“We’re trying to get carbon legislation passed in Oregon. We have felt the smoke of the wildfires in California,” said high school student and organizer Charlie Abrams.
“This is our future, and this is our fight,” said Winn.
And their fight, they say, has a new leader.
Greta Thunberg is the young woman behind the student-led movement. Month after month, on every Friday, Greta skips school in Sweden and holds up her sign demanding action on climate change.
“I saw a lot of my own passion reflected in her. Her motivation really hit me through her words,” said Winn.
“Greta is an inspiration to everyone,” said Clark.
The Portland students say they’re honored to help spread that ambition but say it hasn’t exactly been easy.
“In the last couple days, the administration has been really hard to work with on this issue,” said Abrams.
“We had kids trying to put up posters. We had somebody from our administration who walked over, took down the poster and yelled at kids from our school,” said Winn.
“I think we have a moral obligation to stand up and do it anyways… because this will affect us for the rest of our lives and we can’t simply sit by and watch climate change devastate our communities, families and country. It’s simply unacceptable,” said Clark.
FOX 12 asked Portland Public Schools about any posters that had been removed. A spokesman said he’s not aware of that happening but adds that signs do need to be approved by the school before they’re posted.
As for Friday’s walkout in Portland, many students say they plan on leaving their classrooms around 10 a.m. before heading to a rally at City Hall.
PPS also sent out a letter to parents regarding the planned event.
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