Guardian: Teachers’ Dilemma Over Supporting the Climate Change Student Strike

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, teachers are not allowing fliers advertising the student strike on school premises, but they are encouraging students to spread the word via word of mouth.

Pupils’ climate change strike threat poses dilemma for heads

Thousands of pupils set to be absent on 15 February, putting schools on the spot

Jamie Doward
Sun 10 Feb 2019 19.00 AEDT

Headteachers across the country will this week be faced with a tricky dilemma: should they allow their pupils to go on strike?

Thousands of schoolchildren are expected to absent themselves from school on Friday to take part in a series of coordinated protests drawing attention to climate change.

At a time when politicians fret that young people are failing to engage with the political process, a headteacher’s decision to take a hard line against the strikers could be counter-productive. But equally granting permission for a day off could set a dangerous precedent and lead to safeguarding issues, it is feared. Parents could be fined for taking a child out of school.

One would-be striker, Anna Taylor, 17, from north London, said her school had given her “mixed messages”.

“I chucked up a notice – ‘school strike in a few weeks’ – on the noticeboard in the common room and they wiped it off, said ‘you can’t actively publicise it in schools’ and ‘we’ll give you an unauthorised absence and detention if you strike’, but then they said ‘you can spread it by word of mouth and we do support your cause’.

A template letter drawn up by Youth Strike 4 Climate, one of the groups supporting the network, for parents of striking children to give headteachers, states: “I’m aware of UK law that permits parents to only give permission for their child to miss school on medical grounds or in a few other cases, one of which is under ‘exceptional circumstances’. My view is that having only 12 years left to cut CO2 emissions by 50%, as per the latest UN IPCC report, is pretty dire and exceptional circumstances to find ourselves in. And it in this light that I’m giving my child permission.”

Read more:

In my opinion teachers encouraging students to attend emotionally charged radical green political rallies which could turn violent is an unspeakable breach of trust.

86 thoughts on “Guardian: Teachers’ Dilemma Over Supporting the Climate Change Student Strike

    • Also the principle of ‘striking’ is that you want something and are going to deny services as a bargaining tool.

      What are these enlightened kiddlings actually denying here? A day of education?

      “Give us what we want or we will refuse 7 hours of education!!!”

      Well, that is going to bring the establishment to its knees! Or more correctly it will bring the education department to its knees… probably… and then the education department will agree to compromise with the students by ending global warming by closing all those coal powered schools. No longer will the school day be divided neatly into morning and afternoon by the arrival of the noon coal train, delivering the 1000s of tons of coal needed to power the blackboards, text books and school dinners each and ever day of the school year.

      Seriously, at best this is a protest. (actually at best it is a day for kids to skive off school and enjoy the fruits of Western Culture and Civilisation) It cannot be a strike because the students have nothing to strike WITH and no one to bargain against because their ’employer’ has no control on the climate anyway. (the fact that they are protesting under a government which is already grovelling to Paris escapes most of them. Do they expect their government to sign up to Paris twice or something?).

      The real reason this is being labelled as a ‘strike’ is to remind youth that ‘striking’ is the best way to get anywhere in life and to put trust in your Community Organisers and join your union.

      • ‘The real reason this is being labelled as a ‘strike’ is to remind youth that ‘striking’ is the best way to get anywhere in life and to put trust in your Community Organisers and join your union.’

        Translation: “I’ll stamp my feet and hold my breath until I turn blue until somebody does something for me, because a tantrums are the limit of my contribution.’

        See AOC.

      • All my union wants to do is sell me special deals in home, car, life and any other kind of insurance it’s managed to sign up a deal with the providers of. As for keeping me informed of any negotiations with my employer about terms conditions and pay changes forget it.
        Oh and they can get me a good deal on a holiday if I want.

        I only stay a member as it winds them up greatly that I opted out of paying the political levy to the UK labour party.

        James Bull

    • They are just silly kids. And this sort of circus could only happen in our decadent Western societies. I bet Chinese, Japanese, Russian or Indian children are much more aware of the importance of working hard to achieve an education.

    • I don’t know. I was in France a few years back, and the unemployed were sriking for higher benefits. The trick is to get unions with employed members to honor your picket lines.
      That’s when I realized that in France, striking is a national pastime. Anyone and everyone goes on strike.

    • They are not students, they are impressionable school children! This is adult leftist emotional twaddle. There is NO dilema.

      • Exactly. Have these people forgotten that THEY are the adults and THEY tell the children what is going to happen? I’m American and our school-attendance laws sound like they pale in comparison the those in the UK, which is no surprise at all. How and when did the current PC crowd take over our otherwise clear-thinking societies? How about a solid, firm statement of “Your kid misses school, you get the punishment. Children are not allowed to strike and the very idea of it, and that fact that some people are entertaining it, is ludicrous and unacceptable. That is all we will be saying about this issue. If your child misses school on that day, it will be treated like any other unexcused absence. Oh, and the bake sale fundraiser has been moved to Thursday.”

      • It’s not twaddle Jon.
        It’s the result of ‘progressive’ indoctrination of the young and helpless themixed with the deterioration of schooling. Add in the threatening of any teachers that do not ‘toe the progressive line’ and this is what you get. It’s bloody dangerous.

  1. Not sure that students less that 18 years old are considered ‘capable’ of making adult decisions. If that is the case then any student absences are on the parent’s nickle. ie, the parents are legally on the hook for the consequences, if any.
    The rules are pretty simple – any unexcused absence is subject to whatever consequence the jurisdiction decides is appropriate.

  2. Teachers should be encouraging kids to think for themselves instead of encouraging them to be part of the Groupthink.

    • Could not agree more strongly! I’ve given talks to universities on remote dry cask spent fuel welding challenges and solutions… and inevitably, always tell students to not believe anything I say, but to be skeptical, else they will not own what they might learn. That’s usually around the time people ask why we reprocess, and I answer “Nuclear is evil”… and then pause. After disarming the audience, that I just wowed with some cool technology and science, the presentation becomes ever more interesting. I call on professors and students to hear their opinions. The crowd comes out pro nuclear for the most part.

  3. On a PTA meeting I stressed the legal liabilities of school organizing “educational trips” to recycling stations, sewage plants, windmills and such. Stated that my kid will not participate unless clear accountability and accident prevention and response plans are established and approved before each eventual event.

    Surprisingly other parents followed and derailed the topic. Accountability is something “Energiewende” hates to face in any shape or size.

    • They won’t do it for green brainwashing, but they’ll accept it’s all part and parcel for a trip to the zoo.

    • Yeah, I remember when I was in high school, there was always that one parent that spoiled all our fun going on field trips because there was only 3 band aids in the first aid kit instead of 7.

      • Industrial plants are not public spaces. A visitor has to read and sign 5 or so pages of safety requirements and evacuation plan before entering any EU industrial site. Most would enforce individual protection and “yellow jackets”.

        A bunch of panicked kids is exactly what it takes to turn a minor mishap into a major issue.

        Precisely the kind of liability “greenwashing” visits systematically circumvent when kids are involved.

    • The accident prevention and response plans happen here in Australia for everything. the possibility of the princes and princesses falling off playground equipment or pricking their finger with a needle in a sewing class is taken very seriously. Consequently our youth have no f***ing idea how to behave themselves – eg standing up on public transport for the old and frail (a story in today’s media of a bunch of said youths sitting while a very old lady stands on a train ) or to protect themselves – which it is apparently now the government’s job to do.

      A mindless climate “strike” was held here before Christmas. None of the kids could actually provide any evidence – so fail, teachers, fail! – and it was just a day at the beach for most.

      I’d like to think a backlash was on the way but I see no evidence of that either. Although I did enjoy the mum who when faced with no one prepared to give her a seat for her and her toddler dumped said – smelly nappied toddler in the lap of a senior private school boy and said thanks for holding him. His face was priceless and he was actually too scared to move. A couple of his mates then did get to their feet. Win all round and giggles from some of the standing grown-ups.

  4. Perhaps the only way that teachers can protect themselves from liability is to take and keep careful class attendance records and report the names of those absent from any class to the Head Teacher/Principal.

    Then it’s up to the Head Teacher/Principal or school authorized attendance person to notify parents or guardians that a student is absent from school.

    • My children would receive a deficiency for being absent without cause. Two in a marking period will keep you off the Principal’s List, no matter how good your grades are. Choices have consequences.

      • Probably not for this in these Orwellian times. Just watch. It will be called a field trip in civics.

  5. Risky strategy,letting the kids run free without their institutional minders,There is a real risk the protesting children might run into some truth speaking citizens.
    Better to lock them down in their state run prison/school than risk that they may be contaminated by free speech.
    Poor teachers/indoctrinators I feel their pain.

  6. The Guardian is also critical of “white girls next door”. So, a predisposition to conflation of logical domains seems to be closely correlated with rabid diversity.

  7. US society might be ready for a change, due to an unexpected convergence of thought.
    We all might agree that children should not be used for social causes.

    Progressives were unhappy that children participated in March for Life. (Covington Kids)
    I’m unhappy that children have been terrified and used for climate change demonstrations.

    • “We all might agree that children should not be used for social causes.”

      I doubt it.

      You [correctly] see those two examples of using kids as tools as being equal. Progressives do not. Their ends are more justified than yours and they can use whatever means is needed [in their minds]. After all you’re just an uneducated, unwashed, depl0rable, r@cist den!er [in their minds].

    • The big difference between those two is that Big Media have given the ‘progressive’ kids a huge platform (gun control, CAGW etc.), while the same Big Media have refused to report about conservative kids’ political action (with the exception of an attempt to demonize the Covington kids).

  8. Maybe the climate liars will stop when they get down to the level of toddlers who can’t even walk? That’s where it’s headed.

  9. First, its a Friday
    Second, most students and teachers wont be there
    Third, the ones there will be threre for 1-2 hours most, and take the rest of Friday off…

  10. They’ve only got 12 years, according to their check list of panicmongering events? Poor things! What dismal lives they must have!!!

    Let’s see: in 12 years, I should have 1500++ articles published online, minimum, and several novels finished plus a wealth of nature photography completed. Yep, time is at a premium. Not meant to be wasted on trivial nonsense that serves no purpose other than getting on TV.

    • After 12 years, the Third Reich was done and over.
      I hope this will happen to the Third Reich of climate alarmism as well.
      Are there then going to be any Climatescare trials as well?

      • Non Nomen

        There will be, one day, the most catastrophic backlash from these children when they find out how they have been lied to and humiliated.

        As is happening right now, the terms ‘expert’, ‘scientist’, ‘study’, ‘paper’, ‘peer review’, ‘computer’ and ‘simulation’ etc……. will be entirely discredited.

        It has already been established, and published in the Lancet I believe, that between 50% and 70% of peer/pal reviewed scientific studies cannot be replicated.

        And still the scientific community ignores the potential value of blogs like WUWT where many scientists, practising and retired, with a broad range of expertise, converge to examine innumerable scientific undertakings. Unlike peer reviewers these people have time to actually read and digest papers before passing informed comment on them.

        Whilst technology takes great strides towards the 22nd Century, the scientific community is largely stuck in the 18th Century because it found a process of overview that was satisfactory for the moment.

        • HS,
          If only the backlash scenario had precedent!
          – Where’s the backlash over Global Cooling (unless nomination to the Royal Society and selection as POTUS Science Advisor is considered backlash)?
          – Backlash because of all of the child malaria deaths due to banning DDT in the 3rd world?
          – Who suffered because of the disaster of Acid Rain destroying Adirondack Lakes is nowhere in evidence?

          The progressives have mastered the art of “whitewashing” past failures and the process is helped by the youth (and their parents) who only understand the History of Now.

          • Their method of whitewashing a failure is to hand out awards. The more awards you get the more untouchable you become. A Nobel Peace Prize means you’re a God and everything you say is better than the Gospel. I’m sure you can think of many other examples.

        • HS
          google returned 46.000.000 results under the label of “pee rreview manipulation”. Disgusting to look at some details. Science and honesty just don’t seem to fit.
          Only few climate “scientists” seem to care about “thesis – antithesis -synthesis”. This will backfire.

  11. What do kids do when they aren’t in school these days.

    I don’t think they go to the movies or the shopping mall anymore.

    Maybe they just stay home and play Fortnite.

  12. This smacks of the Children’s Crusade of the early 1200s. Both relied on authority figures, in the UK case, the teachers, to imprint the cause on their dear little minds. At least this Children’s Crusade won’t lead the kiddies to the slave markets or slaughter.

  13. The left are exploiting kids to push an agenda that will ensure those kids get to spend the rest of their short lives in poverty and squalor.

    We used to have a word for people like that.

  14. These child-ish protests, triggered by irresponsible activisrs, are a mean, sophisticated variant of political child abuse.

  15. I see that these kids have been roundly suckered by the IPCC’s recent ‘12 years to save the planet’ claim – yet another, on a very long list of such claims which span the 30+ year man-made global warming hoax.

    The culprits responsible for the brainwashing of these kids ought to be rounded up and held to account.

  16. The name of the game: “Climate Jugend”.

    Back in 2009 I wrote an article titled:
    Shameful Exploit Of UK Children In Climate Propaganda

    It has totally disappeared from and elsewhere on the internet, at least no search engine finds it.
    Thus, I dived into old archives and managed to assemble the page and put it on one of my websites:

    One reason it may have disappeared is that, which operated from 2007, has been put to rest many years ago. Not sure why it disappeared from, where it was also published in 2009.

  17. US schools are such an educational failure, if the students took the year off to protest climate change, it wouldn’t affect testing scores.

    • @Donald, a bit grumpy, what?
      I do think they learn to read and write, most of them. School has always tried to teach children to behave in a socially correct manner, and there has always been schools with various political view points, which I do not see anything wrong with, as parents in most cases can choose which school they want to send their children to.
      The bad thing is that most schools these days are all extremely one-sided when it comes to Global Warming or Climate Change, and any attempts from the parent side to influence these extremes, is pretty much futile. Parents are the last ones to change a teen’s sheeple like view point.

      • Carl,
        I don’t know what school system you are referencing, but in the US “most” of the parents do not have a choice of schools; they pay dearly in school taxes and there are usually not sufficient funds to pay for alternative schooling on top of that. (That’s why the issue of “school choice” is huge in US politics.)

        The topic of Climate Change is only a symptom of the problem; Progressive education theories promoted by folks like Dewey resulted in curricula that teach the young (including those in teachers colleges) WHAT to think instead of HOW to think.

        It would be fantastic i US schools would go back to teaching “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic”.

        • George, I understand.
          I had the Danish school system in my head, where there are state/commune schools, private schools, boarding schools and free schools.
          On top of that, there is no need for you to go to school, if the parent or someone else teach the kids. Only obligation is that you take the official tests a few times a year on a public or private school, so that the state can make sure your kids are up to standard. Private schools cost a little, but they are about 95% subsidized from the state.
          There are reasons why the system in Denmark is like that. Denmark is a sailor nation and has been so since the vikings, thus children on board ships, would have to be taught by the parents. Then you have the many small islands, with or without wind turbines, where you cannot afford to employ a teacher full time.
          That does not mean Denmark does not have the same issue as in the US, where school is turning socialistic and basic teaching is going into limbo.

        • It would be fantastic i US schools would go back to teaching “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic”.

          Beg pardon, but I learned those things in US schools in the 70’s and 80’s. Better your previous proposition:

          Progressive education theories promoted by folks like Dewey resulted in curricula that teach the young (including those in teachers colleges) WHAT to think instead of HOW to think.

          I never learned “HOW” to think until my first logic course at University, and that toward a BA in Philosophy. And yet the panting for STEM degrees here . . .

  18. Do the kids get to debate climate change in class? Very useful for teachers as team debates could tick off both English and Science at the same time. Of course given the “proven” strength of the Man Made Global Warming/Changing argument then the best students should be assigned to the “Denier” argument.

    • Good point. When I was in school, the good teachers would assign half the class to argue each side of a view point. Even view points that we all agreed on. It would be interesting to have that happen regarding climate change in a high school class.

  19. The school’s could always ring their parents at work and tell them that their little darlings are missing, and that they ought to do something about it!

    As to the capacity of teenagers to make rational decisions, I thought that research has shown that childrens’ minds are not fully developed until at least the late teens.

  20. North Korea, kids are required to salute, sing, dance, wave flags on parades and everywhere DearLeader might be pleased.

    Those who grew up in what used to be DDR (German Democratic Republic) report identical days out of class.

    Looks like commies have a thing for kids.

    • “Looks like commies have a thing for kids.”

      They like to take advantage of the fact that kids are easily influenced.

  21. “… My view is that having only 12 years left to cut CO2 emissions by 50%, as per the latest UN IPCC report …”

    There is less than 11 years to save the planet Earth.The sr14_spm_final.pdf say 2030 all the time, and 38 times they say: “global warming to 1.5°C”

    I thought school children in UK would love to have 1.5℃ warmer average temperature, it could even provide for a few “too hot to go to school days”, where they could have the legal opportunity to demonstrate against the weather, climate and capitalism./SARC

  22. ‘you can spread it by word of mouth and we do support your cause’

    All kids have a “cause” of not wanting to attend school. The difference from the past generations to the current is that the teachers now support the cause for kids of not attending school. Noting that the Green New Deal offers economic security for those who are unwilling to work you can see that kids are already preparing for their Green dream.

  23. Let’s face it. Today the school children do not study Mao’s Little Red, today they study IPCC’s SfPM together with Hollywood films. Mao would have been proud of today’s youth. All that may change if Green New Deal goes through and they pretty fast realize it may not be such a good deal. Much better then to stay in nice room temperature in the class room and study the other side of the climate coin. I suggest they start with WUWT 🙂

  24. Why is no one organizing a day of missed classes to protest government overreaction to the slightly warmer climate?

    • No more Nutella, no more Mars bars (plastic capped or -wrapped), no more new brain prosthesis mobile phones when the contract needs to get renewed, travel by train and not by plane and these teenies will turn into monsters Dr Frankenstein would be afraid of.

  25. Surely they should protest by throwing away their mobile phones and tablets, make sure they walk and cycle to school and get their parents to get rid of their cars. 12 years pushed out to 13!

  26. ‘We don’t need no education’
    ‘We don’t need no thought control’.

    I’ll say this – they’ve made Pink Floyd relevant again.

  27. The logic of this is baffling. First, schools have nothing to do with climate change (other then maybe educating students of it). Second, there’s no telling if the kids are doing this to simply just get out of school. The only way to differentiate their true motives would be to ask them to strike outside of class (which is just as appropriate). I bet the true motives would come out and the crowd wouldn’t be as big.

  28. Has it occurred to anyone that failing to actually prosecute the parents of these children will leave the local councils open to hugely expensive challenges from all those fined for taking the children on holiday.

  29. How can those kids cope with having to travel on fossil fuelled vehicles to get to school or the embarrassment of mummy rolling up outside the school gates in the Land Rover.

  30. There should be a caption on the picture of the ‘cabbage patch’ kids that reads “climate ugliness” to see if it could trigger someone to claim that it implies that all kids are ugly!

    It would make a great OT sub thread.

  31. In Australia tens of thousands of these munchkins will be voting in the upcoming federal and NSW state election. Be afraid be very afraid,. And we’ve got waves of brainwashed students just like them on their way to voting age, all armed with a little bit of knowledge, just enough to vote us right back to the Dark Ages.

  32. My local newspaper has a letter from a parent which says:
    ‘Across Europe and the USA, children have been marching and demonstrating because this climate problem is not being tackled effectively.’
    Readers are invited to look on the internet at youth-strike4climate.
    The parent ends by saying ‘Their future is at stake. They need our support.’
    Perhaps the teachers should be imparting some science and not encouraging this nonsense?

Comments are closed.