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VIX LOWTHION WRITES TO HEADTEACHERS TO ASK FOR COMPASSION AND CONSIDERATION OVER ‘SCHOOL STRIKE 4 CLIMATE’

Vix Lowthion, education spokesperson for the Green Party, has written to the headteachers of schools across the Isle of Wight to ask them to show compassion and consideration when authorising any pupil absences as a result of the Youth Strike for Climate planned for this Friday (15th February).

Inspired by the actions of 16-year-old Greta Thumberg in Sweden last summer, this year up to 70,000 schoolchildren in 270 towns and cities worldwide have taken part in ‘Fridays For Future’ to demand that politicians take action to confront the Climate Emergency. The United Nations IPCC report last year made it clear that we have only 12 years left to limit global warming to a rise of only 1.5 degrees Celsius – or the consequences for the planet will be impossible to tackle.

On Friday, schoolchildren in the UK are planning to take part in the first nationwide Youth Strike 4 Climate, with events planned in towns and cities across the country.

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Vix Lowthion said:

“I hope that our head teachers can understand how important the future of our planet is, particularly for our young people. It is their future which is at stake, and whilst they cannot yet vote that does not mean that they must be silent.

“Action on ‘Fridays for Future’ has recently seen 30,000 Belgian teenagers on strike to demand action on climate action, and I fully recognise their sense of urgency.”

She added:

“It’s worth bringing to your attention that Isle of Wight campaigners will also be gathering on Saturday 2nd March in St Thomas’ Square, Newport at 12.30pm (a weekend opportunity to demonstrate outside of school time) and Extinction Rebellion IW will be very happy to welcome young people and their families to join them on that date.”

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Further details on the UK Schools Strike on 15th February can be found at www.fridaysforfuture.org or emailing [email protected]

A copy of the letter sent to headteachers…

Dear Head Teacher,

Regarding ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ – a planned school strike in the UK by young people who are demanding action on climate change, Friday 15th February.

You may have seen coverage in the national press over the weekend as schoolchildren in the UK are planning to take part in the first nationwide Youth Strike 4 Climate, with events planned in over 40 towns and cities across the country.

The strike is inspired by the actions of 16 year old Greta Thumberg in Sweden, which has resulted in up to 70,000 schoolchildren in 270 towns and cities worldwide taking part in ‘Fridays For Future’. Young people from Brisbane to Brussels are demanding that politicians take action to confront the Climate Emergency. The United Nations IPCC report last year made it clear that we have only 12 years left to limit global warming to a rise of only 1.5 degrees Celsius – or the consequences for the planet will be dire. Desertification, sea level rise and a huge loss of habitats will be economically and ecologically damaging, particularly for the next generations.

I know that you will encounter students asking about the Youth Strike 4 Climate and I ask that you can show compassion and consideration when authorising any pupil absences as a result of their action. The front page of the Sunday Express (10.2.19) “Head Teachers Support Pupil Strike” quotes a spokesperson from the National Head Teachers Association (NAHT) as showing support for the strike, stating “When you get older pupils making an informed decision, that kind of thing needs to be applauded. Society makes leaps forward when people are prepared to take action. Schools encourage students to develop a wider understanding of the world around them. A day of activity like this could be an important and valuable life experience.”

I hope that you can understand how important the future of our planet is, particularly for our young people. It is their future which is at stake, and whilst they cannot yet vote that does not mean that they must be silent. Action on ‘Fridays for Future’ has recently seen 30,000 Belgian teenagers demanding their government takes action on climate change. Whilst politicians and world leaders continue to avoid commitment to significant action, the sense of urgency displayed by the younger generation is understandable.

It’s worth bringing to your attention that Isle of Wight campaigners will also be gathering on Saturday 2nd March in St Thomas’ Square, Newport at 12.30pm (a weekend opportunity to demonstrate outside of school time) and Extinction Rebellion IW will be very happy to welcome young people and their families to join them on that date.

Further details on the UK Schools Strike on 15th February can be found at www.fridaysforfuture.org or emailing [email protected]

Yours sincerely,

Vix Lowthion

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