Students skip classes in solidarity with students worldwide as they rally for environmental awareness


Sentinel Staff

Students rally during third and fourth period Sept. 27, joining nationwide and worldwide protests aimed at creating environmental awareness and halting global warming.

Cassidy Baumann, Co-Editor-in-chief

Students around the world, including those at Northgate High School, have caught the media’s attention for voicing their concerns on climate change. 

Last year, Swedish student Greta Thunberg stood outside of Swedish parliament with a poster, alone and skipping school to fight for the environment. Students since have followed in her footsteps by planning walkouts, to raise awareness for their uncertain future.

Starting Sept. 20, protests began again, as Thunberg prepared to speak at the United Nations Summit in New York on Tuesday Sept. 24. Thunberg, who took her own approach to fighting climate change, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on a zero-emissions yacht, to the summit. 

Meanwhile, high school and college students around the country staged walkouts and marches, just as student activists have done for previous pressing issues. 

Northgate had many of its own student activists partake in this nationwide movement, choosing to demonstrate instead of attending classes on Sept. 27. The protest, organized by the AP Environmental Science class, took place from brunch to fourth period. As many as 200 students, many carrying signed with slogans and environmental messages, poured out onto the steps outside the school and called for change by giving desperate speeches, voicing their fears, stating issues, and suggesting solutions. 

“I think it was awesome,” said senior Anthony Giannini, a student in AP Environmental Science who attended the walk-out. “I didn’t think so many would be there. I liked that the staff was okay with it and that students were able to take over.”

Many students had a chance to voice their concerns at or after the rally, which moved to different locations around the school, while chanting against big business, emissions and environmental protection policies.

“I wish that [the government] would recognize it as a major threat to the health of the planet and limit how much greenhouse gasses people and industries put out into the atmosphere,” said freshman Kimmie Andre, who shared her experience of joining the protest. “The significance of us protesting is to bring more attention to the problem and show that people as young as me are affected and need to change to occur.” 

As students voice their concerns, the pressure on the government to do something to regulate emissions intensifies. Students say the climate crisis cannot wait for change, and that it needs to happen soon, and students are now assuming the responsibility for impacts to the planet caused by past generations. 

Some teachers walked with the group of students, who migrated to several parts of the outdoors area of the school during third and fourth periods. Some administrators watched the group, which was allowed to take their public stand. Many students said they were fine taking a class cut for missing a period in school.

Biology and zoology teacher Melanie Scott shared her view of student efforts to call for change.

“It is really important that the youth are voicing their opinions and calling for action,” she said. “I see young people banning together and changing the world in the future, and with them, I truly believe that they can and will save the world.”