Renfrewshire Council should back young people who choose to strike from school to highlight climate action, according to Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer.
Thousands of pupils are expected to walk out of lessons at schools and colleges across the UK later this month amid growing concern regarding climate change. The movement started in August when a 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg held a solo protest outside Sweden’s parliament.
Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week are taking part in 270 towns and cities worldwide.
An estimated 15,000 people took part in a wave of climate strikes across the UK in February.
Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland has written to education bosses at Renfrewshire Council urging them to support – and not to punish – young people ahead of the planned global strike on Friday 15th March 2019.
Citing Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence and its objective of young people becoming ‘responsible citizens’ and the First Minister’s call for their voices to be heard, Ross has urged the council to understand the struggle faced by young people who will grow up in a world gripped by total climate breakdown unless transformative action is taken immediately.
Ross, said: “The climate crisis – and how we all respond to it – will now unavoidably define the lives of young people at school in Scotland today. Many are, completely rationally, fearful for their futures and those of young people around the world. It’s clear why they feel compelled to speak out and urge stronger action from governments and corporations who have not just failed to tackle this crisis but who have caused it.
“Local councils should support young people who chose to strike for the climate – after all, they epitomise what it means to be responsible citizens. They should certainly ensure that there is no threat of any form of punishment.”
A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “We’re aware of the planned event taking place later this month.
“If a pupil chose to take part then they would be marked as absent, as per standard procedure, but would not face any further action.”