'Planet is dying around us' - Sidmouth youngsters protest on climate change
PUBLISHED: 15:22 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 15 March 2019
Chants of 'go green' echoed through the streets of Sidmouth as students decided to walk out as part of a nationwide strike to protest climate change.
More than 80 Sidmouth College students, armed with placards, walked down into the town centre, joining thousands of other youngsters calling for governments to take action.
Siblings Alfie and Will Crick said they walked out after reading about the work of 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who founded the youth strike for climate movement.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta called on students strike across the country on Friday (March 15).
The brothers said: “We feel that governments need to listen to young people. They need to make companies replace plastic packaging and to work seriously on reducing greenhouse gases. This is why we are skipping school today.”
Among the young environmentalists’ concerns was engaging more young people to learn about the issue.
A 16-year-old pupil said: “We want the government to commit to a climate emergency and she [the Prime Minister] sits down and talks to young and old and we get to have a say on what we can do.
“Young people need to know more, we put posters up and a lot of people didn’t know about it. Kids need to know what climate change is.
“It’s our future and we do not get a say, the planet is dying around us and there has to be something we can do to change that.”
“We’re trying to make the world better, it’s a peaceful protest.”
Sidmouth College said it was aware of any students who had left the site.
Martyn Dudley, vice-principal said: “It is a national campaign, there are larger protests going on in Exeter and other cities today. We knew the national campaign was happening today and we had sent out information to parents. We support climate change and the children are really passionate about making a change. We continue to look at ways we can support this in school, and the college and student body have already made many changes to reduce our impact on climate change.
“We did inform parents that the college would not be able to authorise students going on these marches and that it was a choice parents and children needed to make. “At break time there was a number of students campaigning, when the bell went the majority of students went back into lessons. Around 80 students left the school site to continue to support the campaign with 55 students returning at lunchtime for their afternoon lessons.”