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Fairfax County Public School Students Will Strike from School on 12/6 to Demand Climate Action

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Great to see the kind of activism these students are demonstrating, in this case about the climate crisis.  As Anika Gupta, Vice President of James Madison High School’s climate policy club, Madison Climate Leaders puts it, “We’re running out of time to make a change, which is why so many kids are concerned about this issue.” Exactly correct, well said. In sum, these kids are alright – keep doing what you’re doing!

November 18, 2019 – Students from Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia have been fighting for climate action for a long time with minimal results, so they have decided to take to the streets in a Climate Strike on December 6, 2019. The strike will take place on the Vienna Town Green from 10 am to 1 pm and will feature several student speakers as well as elected officials, including school board member Ryan McElveen.

The strike is being organized by members of the Sunrise Movement and features youth coalition groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Earth Uprising, US Youth Climate Strike, and Fridays for Future. The students, along with adult allies and grassroots partners 350 Fairfax and Mothers Out Front Fairfax, are striking to demand a Green New Deal for Fairfax County Public Schools and a livable future for future generations.

“This is not a hypothetical. This is not a partisan issue. This is real, this is now, and this is the way that we as a species will die if we don’t take action. I want to live my life without fearing for it,” says Deepa Rao, a climate activist and junior at James Madison High School. “We have everything we need at our disposal, except for the will to act.”

Speakers at the strike will include FCPS students Katie Monacella and Wendy Gao, who have recently been honored by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for their efforts in the climate change movement. School board member Ryan McElveen, who has repeatedly expressed his support for climate action in FCPS, will also be speaking, and all school board members, as well as several local elected officials, have been invited to strike in solidarity with the students.

“We’re running out of time to make a change, which is why so many kids are concerned about this issue,” says Anika Gupta, Vice President of James Madison High School’s climate policy club, Madison Climate Leaders. “Right now, we have the capacity to begin a just transition to renewable energy, we just lack the political willpower. Our elected officials need to start making the changes necessary for humanity to live sustainably, which includes a Green New Deal for our schools.”

A Green New Deal for FCPS would begin the transition of all schools to net-zero carbon emissions. This would include installing solar panels and energy efficient windows on schools, something that has already begun in Fairfax County. It would also include the growing movement for electric buses. The students also demand that the county require comprehensive climate education in schools.