Greens MP wants kids to skip school for climate rally

Queensland’s only Greens MP says schools in his Brisbane west electorate should let students skip lessons to attend a climate change rally.

Michael Berkman says all school principals in his Maiwar electorate have agreed to let students either strike or take time off to attend the Big School Walk Out for Climate Action at Parliament House on Friday, November 30.

Michael Berkman says school principals in Maiwar have agreed to let students strike or take time off to attend a climate change protest next week.


In a Facebook post, Mr Berkman said: “I have ... clarified that no student will be punished for striking or walking out of school.

“The general consensus from admin and principals was that as long as parents follow general procedure about phoning or emailing in and reporting absence ... it is fine for students to take the day off to attend the rally.”

“While I respect our young people’s desire to call attention to the impacts of climate change, I would prefer that they conduct any protest in their own time, outside of school hours, not during the school day,” she said.

“Education is important and should come first.

“Should they choose to participate, it should be a personal decision and parental permission is essential.”

But Mr Berkman hit back, and told Brisbane Times that while he did not know the precise number of students attending, his own children would be at the rally.

“I imagine the turn-out in Brisbane will be massive,” he said.

“My office has been chatting to dozens of local families who are planning to attend. I’ll certainly be there with my kids.

“Climate change profoundly affects young people.

“It’s their future being threatened by governments at all levels, and both major parties are failing to take meaningful action.

“These students are striking because they are sick of seeing adults ignore their right to a safe future on this planet.

“It’s such an important statement from these kids, and I think it’s a bit dismissive to suggest students will take advantage of this day as an opportunity to wag school.”

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