September 20, 2019
Students Join In Global Youth Climate Strike
Inspired by the actions of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish climate crusader who began staging protests “FridaysForFuture” to shine a light on global warming, several KO students participated in the global youth climate strike on Friday in front of the Capitol in Hartford. There are over 2,500 protests, rallies and marches staged around the world with over 150 countries represented from Afghanistan, Belgium, China, India, and Nigeria to demand immediate action on climate.
Student speaker and Green team leader Jacqui Ouellette ‘20 drafted a letter to the administration asking for permission to attend the protest with the understanding that her actions may have consequences. She pointed out how the students’ involvement with the protests aligns with the school’s core values. She identified three values of the school and delineated her reasoning. She wrote, “We feel that participation in this event is an opportunity to practice KO core values. Learn with passion and perseverance: Attendance of this protest would express passion and perseverance for the environment and local environmental causes. Care beyond self: These are issues that affect local and global communities; students have the ability to use their voices to help others in all walks of life across the world. Work hard, take risks, and become involved: Preparation for this event and the action and presence of students at this protest demonstrates hard work. There is always a risk in protest, but it is an important way to become involved.”
One of the attendees, Jaden DiMauro ’20 said, “It’s important to have courage and conviction. You need to use more than words but to take action for the things you believe in and try to make a change.” He was disappointed in the turnout, but Ouellette felt there wasn’t enough lead time for students to organize and fill out the proper paperwork to miss their classes.
“At first I wasn’t sure I would participate, but I thought that the environment is an incredibly important issue. In 50 years, am I still going to be here? Is the planet? That’s really scary to think about,” Alyssa Pilecki ’20.
The students felt that government inaction was unacceptable and that the climate situation is spirally out of control. “The last thing Connecticut needs is another power plant,” said Trinity LaFountain ’22.
Several teachers chaperoned the students to the event in Hartford.