MTHS Students Participate In Global Climate Strike

Students+demonstrating+on+44th+Ave+during+the+Global+Climate+Strike.+The+signs+were+designed+by+the+students+before+the+protest+began+at+noon.+
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MTHS Students Participate In Global Climate Strike

Students demonstrating on 44th Ave during the Global Climate Strike. The signs were designed by the students before the protest began at noon.

Students demonstrating on 44th Ave during the Global Climate Strike. The signs were designed by the students before the protest began at noon.

© HAWKEYE Nhan Tran

Students demonstrating on 44th Ave during the Global Climate Strike. The signs were designed by the students before the protest began at noon.

© HAWKEYE Nhan Tran

© HAWKEYE Nhan Tran

Students demonstrating on 44th Ave during the Global Climate Strike. The signs were designed by the students before the protest began at noon.

By Nathaniel Reyes, News Editor

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At 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 20, a group of nine students and three teachers sign-waved to build support for action against climate change outside the school along 44th Ave W. The group was led by band director Darin Faul and included biology teacher Jonathan Tong and arts teacher Michael Denoma. 

The group gathered in Faul’s classroom after school ended on the half day, where Faul gave a short lecture about the purpose of their protest. They then moved to Tong’s classroom to watch a TED Talk about their cause before making signs and moving out to 44th to wave them.. The group stood along 44th waving their signs until 2:00 p.m., when the Global Climate Strike event was scheduled to end. 

As school got out at 10:15 am last Friday, the group of students gathered in Faul’s classroom, Room 231, to get an idea of what they wanted to do. 

“I am frustrated with the lack of acknowledgment the district has towards climate change,” Faul said to students during the meeting in his room, “Instead they punish students who wish to walk out of class and protest. I too have had my hands slapped repeatedly for using school resources to organize events like these.”

At around 11 a.m. the group moved to Tong’s classroom to make posters and watch a TED Talk from the leader of the international School Strike for Climate movement, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

According to Faul’s email, Thunberg skipped school to protest climate change by sign-waving in front of the Swedish Parliament building in August 2018 in an effort to get the government to combat further climate change. Her movement became viral on social media and helped spark the rest of the world’s youth to take action in their communities against global climate change.

“Maybe [my children] will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. What we do or don’t do right now will affect my entire life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. What we do or don’t do right now, me and my generation can’t undo in the future,” she said in  the TED Talk she gave at TEDxStockholm in November of last year.  

The protest was part of a global student strike against governmental inaction on climate change that took place on September 20, with demonstrations in over 150 countries. Over 4 million people participated in the movement worldwide. 

After making posters, the group went out to 44th and began their sign-waving. In 20 minutes, they received support from at least 15 passing drivers (including a school bus driver). 

Denoma was one of the teachers present at the protest, although he merely participated and did not help to organize the event.

“I joined because of the urgency of the moment,” he said, “This is a very important issue and we don’t have very much time to act upon it,”

During the sign-waving, the family of sophomore Seamus Whalen-Robinson came and joined the protest. 

“My family have always urged me to do what is right,” Whalen-Robinson said.

Junior Lilia Sanders joined the protest out of concern for her future in a world where climate change is allowed to proceed unchecked. 

“I’m doing this because if I didn’t do anything about [climate change], I probably wouldn’t have a future,” she said. “It feels good to know there are a lot of people who are just as devoted to the issue as me,”

Tong said that he had attempted to talk to MTHS’s Ecology Club about joining the protest, but none of its members came that day. 

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