Kids Skipping School To Fight Climate Change? Massachusetts Teachers Association Gives Green Light

Printed from:

The largest teachers union in Massachusetts is endorsing a planned Youth Climate Strike this week, in which students plan to skip school to demand implementation of the Green New Deal.

The board of directors of the Massachusetts Teachers Association unanimously passed a motion supporting the strike, according to the union.

It was brought by Kurt Ostrow, an English teacher at B.M.C. Durfee, the public high school of Fall River.

“Our students are demonstrating leadership and passion when it comes to tackling the issue of climate change, and they deserve our full support,” Ostrow said, according to a written statement from the union. “We cannot teach on a dead planet.”

Organizers of the Youth Climate Strike have released a list of 22 demands, including building no new infrastructure that depends on fossil fuels like oil and natural gas; switching to 100 percent non-fossil-fuel sources of propulsion, heat, and electricity by 2030; creating a committee to implement the Green New Deal that has subpoena power; and declaring climate change a national emergency.

The teachers union president, Merrie Najimy, described the student strike as a natural outgrowth of what students are learning in Massachusetts public schools.

“Students throughout history have been a critical driving force of social movements. Regarding global warming and climate change, students are taking what they have learned about science and civics and putting their education into action,” Najimy said in a written statement. “The students leading this movement have demonstrated courage in standing up to the powerful forces that want to protect the massive profits being made by maintaining the status quo.”

The Youth Climate Strike is set for Friday, March 15. Students in Boston, Barnstable, Amherst, and Great Barrington plan to take part, according to the union.

Students who decide instead go to school that day, which is also the last school day before St. Patrick’s Day, are asked to wear green.