Starting on Friday, people from around the world will walk out of their classroom, workplace, and home to join young climate strikers as they demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.
Here in Toronto, there are a number of climate strikes scheduled, including a potentially massive event at Queen’s Park next Friday, which already has over 3,000 confirmed attendees on Facebook.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said it’s taking a number of actions to support students who plan to walk out of class and participate in the climate strike next week.
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In a note issued to parents on Monday, the TDSB said it’s asked its schools to work closely with student organizers so that their plans include consideration of student safety and logistical issues.
“At the TDSB, we honour student voice and are committed to ensuring students can express themselves individually and collectively in ways that are constructive, respectful and responsible,” reads the note.
“As a board, we know that climate change is an important issue that needs to be addressed and that students play an important role in building an environmentally sustainable future.”
According to the TDSB, students under the age of 18 still require parental permission to leave class, and any students who are not in attendance at school will be marked absent.
As is the case with all absences where parental permission has been granted, the absence will be deemed “explained.”
To ensure students receive no academic penalty for taking part in the climate strikes, the TDSB has also asked its schools to avoid scheduling tests and other assessments on that day.
The global climate strike movement is inspired by Swedish teenager and environment activist Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up efforts against climate change.
The rallies — dubbed Global Climate Strike — are timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit that’s taking place in New York next week.
In addition to the rally at Queen’s Park on Friday, September 27, there is also an event scheduled for Thursday, September 26, dubbed ‘Don’t Bank on Climate Change‘ at King and Bay.