Schools on strike: Lake Forest Academy and student involvement in climate awareness protests


Nate Koh

By Nate Koh
Managing Editor of Op-Ed

All over the world, the growing threat of climate change is becoming more and more of a hot topic, either because of its nature as an existential threat or people denying its existence. Projections show that climate change will be completely irreversible in 11 years if the current rate of carbon emissions continue. The UN Secretary-General called climate change a global emergency.
Today’s youth are able to be more informed than any other generation before them. LFA students have access to countless resources to learn about the news and do research on the issues that face us today. This shifts issues away from solely the realm of voters or politicians and also allows students to participate and get involved where they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to. Not only are adults of all kinds, from college students to professionals, protesting and trying to call attention to critical issues such as climate change, high school students are as well.
This has lead to large student involvement all across the world, most notably with activist Greta Thunberg. Her speeches across the world, including to the United Nations, resonated with many students. Her message promoted a global climate strike, planned for September 27th, which millions around the world turned out to in order to protest the destruction of the environment by companies.
In schools across the North Shore, scores of people didn’t go to school in order to travel into the city and protest there, with large turnout. LFA, however, had very few(if any) people going to the strike.
This uniquely low turnout for global activism, something that is normally supported well by LFA, was strange. The lack of any publicity about it from Ecoclub, which typically makes morning meeting announcements about important environmental issues or programs that students can participate in in order to help lessen their impact on the environment, was also out of character.
It may come as a surprise that LFA didn’t participate or draw attention to such an issue, but the timing of the event should also be taken into account. Due to their academic and athletic obligations that the vast majority of students here feel, they don’t feel that they can miss entire days of school, even for something as significant as a climate strike.
It remains to be seen whether or not this same solidarity will be seen with students that decide to protest what some view as the most pressing issue of the time. The academic and athletic obligations understandably make it difficult for students.
At the very least, the lack of action speaks to the intense commitment of the LFA community to their work.