September is full of holidays students will be excused from school for–but a climate strike march is not usually one of them. However, the New York City Department of Education will be allowing students to leave school, as long as parents give consent, for Climate Strike NYC on Friday, September 20, according to Time Out New York Kids. The strike will begin with a rally in Foley Square at noon and then students will march through the Financial District to Battery Park, where another rally will be held.
The NYC Public Schools Twitter account announced that it will excuse absences for students who leave to march, and that younger students can only leave school with a parent. Mayor Bill de Blasio also tweeted that the public schools account will continue to share guidance with schools and encourage students and teachers to discuss the impact of climate change and civic engagement in class. @NYCSchools tweeted, “We applaud our students when they raise their voices in a safe and respectful manner on issues that matter to them. Young people around the world are joining the #ClimateStrike this week—showing that student action will lead us forward.”
According to its website, the US Youth Climate Strike is made up of eight national youth-led climate groups. The strike will occur three days before the United Nations Climate Summit in NYC. The Strike’s demands include
- A Green New Deal: “transforming our economy into 100% green, renewable energy by 2030 and phasing out all fossil fuel extraction through a just and equitable transition.”
- Respect for Indigenous Land and Sovereignty: “Honor the treaties protecting Indigenous lands, waters, and sovereignty by the immediate halt of all construction, leasing, and permitting for resource extraction, processing and infrastructure projects affecting or on Indigenous lands.”
- Environmental Justice: “A transition that invests in prosperity for communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution”; “Welcoming those displaced by the cumulative effects of the climate crisis, economic inequality, violence, and lack of opportunity.”
- Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity: “Protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to all deforestation by 2030.”
- Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture: “Investment in farmers and regenerative agriculture and an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture.”
For more information on the goals of the strike, and to sign up (yourself or your kids!), head to the strike’s website.