Dear Youths Skipping School to Protest Climate Change,

You guys rock! You beautiful, beautiful children. RIGHT ON!

You can read more about this event on NPR. Of course, not everyone is happy about children skipping school like Scott Segal, a lawyer whose firm represents energy companies. He says, “I do not like the symbolism of sacrificing education to make political points.”

I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Segal. The children involved with this protest, are clearly educated enough to understand the issue and organize a protest. Frankly, they are more educated and enlightened on climate change than most adults and politicians. I don’t thinking skipping a day of school is going to effect their education. In fact, due to today’s protest the children are now the educators!

Also, going to school is the child’s job. Protests in which workers strike collectively, have been very effective in creating change. Children are not “consumers” in the same way as adults. They can’t vote with their dollars in the same way that working adults can. Therefore, skipping school is one of the best ways for them to protest.

As a teacher I highly respect the institution of education. However, making students attend school for a certain number of days does not guarantee them a good education. Perfect attendance doesn’t always equal a solid education.

Some lessons are best learned outside the classroom, especially lessons on civic duty. Becoming a responsible citizen requires you to get out into your community to see for yourself the issues you face. Children can’t get that viewpoint if they never step foot outside of home or school.

I don’t think children are sacrificing anything by skipping school today. It’s amazing how people don’t bat an eye when children skip school to partake in popular sporting events but it’s a problem when children enact their rights to be heard. This speaks volumes about what we value as Americans. Instead, I think these youths will gain quite a bit if information on how the system is stacked against people and how important it is them to continue to fight for what is right.

My message to the kids: don’t worry about the negativity you’ll face for skipping school to protest. Missing a day of school will not ruin your life. They just tell you that to keep you from smashing the system. I know this from personal experience and I consider myself as quite successful! Keep going, it’s always harder to walk the path of truth then it is to graze in the pasture like sheep.

 

Keep it up kiddos!

 

Lots of Love,

Glenda

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