More than 5,000 climate strikes led by kids are set to take place around the world Friday. Students, including some in Montana, plan on skipping school to protest inaction on climate change.
In Missoula, high school and university students plan to walk out of class to draw attention to what they say is a climate crisis that needs to be addressed.
"I think it's incredibly important for students in red states, such as Montana, to be standing up and vocalizing their need for action."
That’s Maeve Lange, a junior at Sentinel High School in Missoula. She’s one of the organizers behind Missoula Climate Strike.
Another Missoula Climate Strike student organizer, Sarah Sriraman says she’s worried some of the student voices are getting drowned out by other activist groups.
"And so it might be surprising, but this includes the liberal nonprofit environmental groups, and so-called Green businesses. And they really seem hellbent on ignoring our request to stand behind us at this moment and not attempt to profit from what students have built."
Sriraman hopes the Missoula Climate Strike will highlight education about climate change rather than pushing any single agenda. And in that vein, the group has organized a series of talks, films, and discussions that are open to the public next week.
"We're not educated enough to make demands of our politicians, of companies, of our school board. So we're taking this week to learn — as alternative education — things that we're not being taught about climate change, about capitalism, about how everything works"
Student protest organizers say education systems aren’t doing enough to teach kids about climate change.
Both the University of Montana and Missoula County Public Schools have said they’ll accommodate students who plan on striking. UM professors can choose to excuse students who want to participate in events. MCPS says students must have parental permission in order to be excused.
See more student-organized climate events in Missoula here: https://missoulaclimatestrike.org/#events
See additional climate strike events here: http://www.climatestrikemissoula.org/