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Councilmember Sawant Urges City and State Public Schools Excuse Students from Classes

Following Unanimous Seattle City Council Vote on Resolution Supporting 9/20 Youth Global Climate Strike

SEATTLECouncilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Council’s Human Services, Equitable Development and Renters Rights committee, issued the following statement today after the unanimous vote by the Seattle City Council on her Resolution 31907, “in support of the youth-led September 20, 2019 Global Climate Strike; urging Seattle Public Schools to support its students’ right to assemble and participate in the Global Climate Strike; and affirming that City employees may request unpaid leave for a day of conscience on September 20, 2019.”

Immediately following the unanimous Seattle City Council vote, Councilmember Sawant sent a letter to the Seattle School Board and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau, and another to Governor Jay Inslee and Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

From the letter:

“…After decades of inaction by corporate politicians and a recent report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change giving humanity just 12 years before surpassing a critical threshold of 1.5 Degrees Celsius of warming, young people are correct to be outraged, and they have no choice but to take action.”

Sawant reiterated the role that school boards across the country and world play in the struggle to protect our planet. 

Also from her letter:

“…The New York City Public School system is supporting the movement, and has announced plans to excuse students from school for the Climate Strike. It sent out the following Tweet on September 12th: “@NYCschools will excuse absences of students participating in the #ClimateStrike on Friday 9/20.”

According to Amnesty International, school officials worldwide have been called on to “let pupils join the historic climate strikes on the 20th.”  The Seattle City Council reiterated that appeal with their resolution urging Seattle Public Schools to “support its students’ right to assemble and participate in the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019.”

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