The district’s announcement stated that students who are interested in striking should work with school administrators to hold events on campus. In Philadelphia, students are “at risk academically” if they miss eighteen days of school throughout the year, according to the school district.
In Philadelphia, participants will be striking to demand that their elected officials commit to the fight against climate change by instituting a municipal Green New Deal including 100% renewable energy by 2030. The strike falls three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC and is part of two days of action taking place on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27 around the world.
Philadelphia’s decision comes on the heels of New York City’s announcement on Sept. 12 that public school students could strike without academic consequences.
"This September, millions of us will walk out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels," the Global Climate Strike website states.
The youth climate strike will be led by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began the movement #FridaysForFuture and has been striking every Friday since Sept. 8, 2018.
Swarthmore College professor Lee Smithey cancelled class Sept. 20 and recently urged other educators to do the same. Penn has not cancelled any classes, but Fossil Free Penn, a campus environmental group, created a template for students to email their professors and request that they cancel class on Friday or at least permit their students to strike without consequences. Earlier this year, on Mar. 15, Penn students organized a climate strike to demand better climate change initiatives on campus.
The climate strike on September 20 will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside of City Hall. Penn students, faculty and staff will meet at College Hall at 10 a.m. to walk to the strike together.
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