Students from South Whidbey Middle and High School walked out of class last Friday afternoon in the third annual school walk out the district students have held in solidarity with the international Fridays for Future climate advocacy movement.
Shortly before 2 p.m. Sept. 22, students marched together to nearby Community Park, where they gathered with other community members and supports. A total of 75 protesters were present to advocate for stronger legislative action surrounding the climate crisis.
United Student Leaders, a student-led nonprofit organization that originated on South Whidbey, led the protest, the theme of which was “End Fossil Fuels.”
Members of United Student Leaders were instrumental in getting the Island County Board of Commissioners to pass a climate action resolution last year; however, some activists were disappointed that the resolution did not include language declaring a climate crisis or emergency in Island County.
“We are living in such extremes that we can’t accept watered-down climate policies anymore that only scratch the surface of the issue, or ones that focus more on steering away our eyes from big corporations to focus on individual carbon footprints,” said South Whidbey High School student Audrey Gmerek, 17. “It is time to put a direct end to fossil fuels. Instead of supplementing with minor climate policies that are more words than action, we must pivot our economy to support the health of our home.”