Climate Rally Assembles during Academy


La Puma Staff

Joining approximately 4 million people word-wide in the largest climate protest in history, the Eco Club hosted a climate “rally” in the multi-use room during the academy period on Friday, September 20.

AP Environmental Science (APES) teacher Jane Kelson said it was a “good approach” for allowing students to participate in the climate strike event without disrupting their academic schedules.

Like other youth events inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has become a symbol for global youth action after refusing to attend school and instead protesting in front of government buildings in her home country, the climate rally included student speeches.

Seniors Ava Sparacio and Angie Louie and sophomore Erin Koziel each spoke to those assembled in the multi-use room.

In her speech, Sparacio, president of the Eco Club, said, “You no longer need to have thoughts. We need action and action is what is happening this week.”

“It is time to act. The clock is ticking, and we can’t just keep talking about what we are going to do, we have to take action now,” agreed Kelson. “The goal was to educate and motivate. I do think that it [holding an academy] was a good approach for our high school.”

While the Friday rally, billed as a kick off to the week-long world-wide climate strike, was confined to the multi-use room within the structure of the school schedule, other Bay Area residents chose more disruptive methods for drawing attention to the issue of climate change.  As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, thousands of protesters blocked intersections on Montgomery Street in the Financial District on September 25, painting large climate strike murals across the roadways.

Though junior Alex Ly found the academy session speeches “very motivating” and “passionate,” he was disappointed that Campolindo’s participation in the climate strike did not include any actual civil disobedience. “I think that a physical walk-out would symbolize students actually taking action rather than just talking about what they are going to do. I understand why the Eco Club thought it would be better for students to not leave class but I think that a walk-out would have attracted a lot more people to join the movement than the academy did,” said Ly.

During the final minutes of the climate academy students were free to visit booths that offered Eco Club and Marine Sciences Club signups, as well as opportunities to write letters to representatives and pre-register to vote.

Ly appreciated the additional opportunities offered during the academy session. “It was great that the academy offered activities besides just listening to speeches because it allowed everyone to participate and be engaged with the climate strike in some way. I particularly enjoyed writing a letter to my representative because it seemed like the most tangible and gratifying way to make a difference,” said Ly.