The young Yorkshire activists as pupils prepare for Global Climate Strike – The Yorkshire Post says
Some will say, with reason, that classroom studies must come first and that they will forbid students from leaving lessons to attend protests that have been inspired by Sweden’s teenage activist Greta Thunberg. Others will decree, again with reason, that such social activism should be encouraged, provided the demonstrations are lawful and civilised.
With a new survey purporting to show a majority of teachers in favour of pupils missing lessons to support causes that are close to their heart, it should be welcome that Britain has a generation of young people who are actively engaging with the policy process, whether it be climate change, racism, mental health or, in some cases, Brexit.
Such understanding, and at such a formative age, can only enhance the quality of debate – not least because so many politicians have, in the past, paid ‘lip service’ to the youth vote. It also has the potential to increase the number of young people who choose to participate in public life in the future and democracies should be helping pupils to voice their views.
And there is another dynamic which should not be under-estimated – those youngsters who question, for example, the use of plastics will, at the same time, be putting pressure on their parents and, in turn, supermarkets to change their behaviour. As such, the bigger picture matters just as much as individual protests.