New York City’s 1.1 million school students will be excused from class to participate in the global climate strike protests that are scheduled for this Friday.
The city’s department of education announced the news a tweet.
Guidance sent to schools on Tuesday by the city’s department of education advised that any student attending the protest – with parental consent – will have their absence excused.
This means middle and high school students will need to get permission, while elementary school students will still need to be signed out by a parent.
If you’re a parent wanting to give permission to your child to be absent, you’ll need to do so “in the same manner they normally would,” the guidance reads. Basically, parents should follow their individual school’s attendance protocol – tell them in writing, in person, or by phone.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports the move, writing in a tweet, “New York City stands with our young people. They’re our conscience”.
In New York, crowds will rally in downtown Manhattan at 12 p.m. ET, where a roster of young climate activists will speak.
Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, who sailed to New York to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, is one of the speakers.
Thunberg shared the news of the excused absences on Facebook, challenging other governments to do the same. “Time is running out…”, she wrote.
Also speaking is Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, the 19 year-old Indigenous climate activist and plaintiff in the group suing the Trump administration over the climate emergency (which they say is being handled so negligently that it violates their constitutional rights).
Multiple organizations are behind Friday’s events across the world, including Fridays for Future, Zero Hour, National Children’s Campaign, OneMillionOfUs, 350.org, and others.