Sheffield students ‘planning another strike day’ for climate change

Students across Sheffield are believed to be preparing to take part in a second day of strike action to call for more to be done to reduce climate change.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:53 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:57 am
Youth Climate Strike outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture Scott Merrylees

Hundreds of children walked out of lessons on February 15 and congregated outside the Town Hall to urge the Government to take action to tackle the mounting ecological crisis.

A number of them have faced sanctions from their school, including detention, in the wake of the action but it appears this has not put them off continuing their protests. 

Youth Climate Strike outside Sheffield Town Hall. Picture Scott Merrylees

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The Star understands students from a number of city schools are planning on joining others from across the UK for another round of strikes on March 15

About 50 students from Silverdale School in Millhouses were among the protesting crowds last time and some are believed to be walking out again.

The parent of one protesting pupil said: “From what I gather there could be even more pupils there this time as they have become emboldened by the actions of those who took part last time.”  

In addition, a number of students from another school in the south western part of the city have indicated they will walk out.

Messages written in chalk have also appeared on the pavement in several locations in Sheffield advertising the new day of action.

The strikes have left many school leaders wrestling with their conscience as they find themselves caught between their dual roles as teachers ensuring pupils stay in school and that of educators supporting youngsters’ interest in world affairs. 

In a statement, Silverdale School said no action was taken against pupils who produced a letter from parents beforehand informing them that they were taking part. 

But those who did not produce a letter and simply ‘decided to walk out on the day’ have faced sanctions, including detention. 

The statement added: “We will be using that detention time to encourage them to write a letter to their MP raising any concerns about climate change. We will also ask them to engage in discussions around trade unions and the history of protest. 

"The same rules will apply on March 15." 

The strike action has been co-ordinated by Youth Strike 4 Climate, and has so far seen more than 70,000 youngsters hold protests in 270 towns and cities worldwide.

The movement was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, who staged a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament in August.

They are calling on the Government to change the curriculum to make the state of the environment a priority.