Friday saw eye-watering numbers of school children and teenagers across the UK skip school and all-important lessons to take part in organised rallies calling on the Government to take urgent action to minimise climate change. An exclusive Express.co.uk poll asks readers: “Should children miss school to protest against climate change?” A colossal 92 percent of readers branded the idea “utterly ridiculous” and suggested kids should have spent their time in the classroom instead.
Out of the 2,225 participants that took part, 2,043 said children were wrong to bunk off school to be involved in demonstrations compared to 174 that said they were right to do so.
The amount of participants that said youngsters should get involved amounted to eight percent.
Up to eight clicked the ‘don’t know’ option.
The poll was conducted on Friday between 2.49pm and 8pm.
Comments from those who took part widely reflected the ballot result.
One said: “We used to call it ‘mitching off’ in my day…. now it’s called a climate change protest.”
Another said: “These children are being ‘used’ by adult activists and I think it is shameful!”
A third commenter added: “If they did their protest on a weekend then very few children would turnout…simple.”
Sixteen-year-old activist Greta Thunberg has been praised for “inspiring a generation” after marches sprung up in cities across the globe.
More than 200 events are being held in the UK alone, including in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bristol, Canterbury, Cardiff and Oxford.
Some students have been granted the day off while others have skipped classes entirely.
But while the students have won the support of a string of celebrities, Cabinet ministers have refused to get behind their cause and warned against choosing protests over their education.
Junior Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng condemned the youths’ action, saying: “I am not going to endorse people leaving school because I think education, time spent in school, is incredibly important.”
Schools minister Nick Gibb said the Tory government “shares young people’s passion” for addressing climate change but said missing as little as one day of school could have a negative impact on their GCSE results.
Mr Gibb said the government does not think demonstrating “should be at the expense of a child’s education because what we want is for the next generation to be as well educated as possible to tackle these kinds of problems, and you don’t do that by missing out on an education”.
The mass walkout was mirrored in cities in all corners of the world, from Melbourne to Paris to Islamabad to Johannesburg.
In New York City 1.1 million pupils have been told they will not be penalised for failing to turn up to school.
Published at Fri, 20 Sep 2019 23:18:00 +0000