SFUSD - Let San Francisco Students Participate in Youth Climate Action!

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Peg Hunter
Peg Hunter signed this petition

We ask that elementary teachers with educationally valid, standards aligned field trip plans be allowed to take their students to witness and participate in this historic event.


The most important reason that we believe students of all ages should be able to participate in this historic event is because it is first-hand, real-world example of civic action, the power people can have to shape change. Our young people have been taught that future generations will inherit the planet one day, and that they will have to deal with the consequences of past generations. One way that our students display their advocacy is being able to have a voice; a voice to shape the future planet that they will inherit. Young people will continue to advocate for a cleaner planet, because their future is at risk, whether their leaders in power allow them to have a voice or not. SFUSD should stand on the right side of history and give students a chance to have their voices heard.   


Recently, the Superintendent’s Office has asserted that, in regards to climate change, “We must do all we can to protect our students’ future and we also want to engage them in the process of creating a more sustainable way of life.” Here is an opportunity to turn these words into action.  A change in position would demonstrate to our students and community that we mean what we say; it’s the chance to show some integrity.


Although we agree with the above comments made by the Superintendent’s Office, we also acknowledge that our families are our partners in their students’ education, and that they have rights alongside their children. This is why we have clearly informed parents of their right to choose to join us on Friday, granting their students’ permission to attend. Additionally, we have outlined to our students that we are attending primarily as observers of youth-led democracy, freedom of speech, and civics in action. 


Districts around the country are supporting teachers and students in using this event as an educational opportunity. We would encourage you to follow and lead by doing the same.


SFUSD names among its core values Fearlessness, Unity, and Social Justice with Students at the Center of our work as educators. That we “stand with those most vulnerable in our community.” Now is the time to stand with both our youth and our planet, who both deeply need our genuine support. Our inaction and suppression of student voice sends the message to students that their city is not their classroom, their voices are not valid, and that their learning does not have a larger purpose beyond the school walls. 


We ask you once again to reverse your position on the Global Youth Climate Action which will take place this Friday, September 20th, and instead take a position that supports SFUSD students on their path to learning, leadership and advocacy.