School Strike 4 Climate Change happening in Waihi tomorrow
Amy Magyar and Holly Elson-Fisher from Waihi College called in to the Gold FM studio to explain why they are helping to organise the Waihi School Strike 4 Climate Change protest.
It was apparent by their knowledge about the issues and their mature demeanour that these girls have made an informed decision about participating in the School Strike 4 Climate.
Students from more than 90 countries have joined the global campaign started by then 15 year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg to demand action on climate change. Greta has sat outside the Swedish parliament almost every Friday since last August gaining media attention from around the world which has prompted worldwide support from her peers.
Amy explained that it's been drilled into her age group since they were really young that we do need to be doing things to look after mother nature and the environment. "Human induced climate change is serious and it is happening. There's a headline about climate change every single day. It's something we should be taking seriously," Amy said.
Holly added that we need to do something very quickly and if you still believe climate change is a conspiracy theory then you haven't got the message. "It's really important that we act as quickly and effectively as we can," she said.
Despite criticism that students should be in school plenty of organisation has been done to make sure that this is not an opportunity for students to bunk classes or wag. Amy explained that students had worked alongside teachers, parents and their Principal, Alistair Cochrane to ensure that the student action goes smoothly. Students have to have parental permission before they can take part.
As student leaders within their school Holly and Amy have spoken at assemblies, individual students, classes and they reinforced that this is not an opportunity to wag for a couple of hours, it's an opportunity for students to have their voice heard. The student feedback has been really positive with over 70 returning signed permission slips by Tuesday this week and turning up during their lunch break to paint signs for their march on Friday. "It was really great to see the turnout and people getting involved in this," Holly said.
Amy explained that Waihi College students who have a signed permission slip will meet at the front of their school at 9.30 am on Friday to begin a hikoi as a collective into town to meet with primary and preschools taking part at the Waihi Pump House on Seddon Street.
Schools and towns across New Zealand and the Thames Coromandel area are getting involved in the strike action, Holly said, "The really cool thing is that Waihi was one of the first towns in the whole of Aotearoa to actually get involved and to say, yes, we're going to be part of this, which is really great to see."
"What I Stand For Is What I Stand On" is one of Amy's personal favourite banners that she has created for the march. "It's our future," Amy said, commenting about more needing to be done because climate change is continuing to happen. "A quote from Greta who started the movement is, "If kids can get on the news for missing school then surely what they're standing for is quite important."
Waihi Kindergarten, Waihi East School and Waikino School have confirmed they will be taking part so far and all other schools and preschools have been made aware of the action on Friday and are welcome to take part.
When Brian asked if they had a chant and came up with one off the top of his head, Holly suggested, "Don't quit your day job, Brian."
Anyone wishing to support the School Strike 4 Climate Change will be able to encourage the students as they their way up Seddon Street to the Pump House tomorrow morning, Friday, March 15.