Good Morning Climate Activists!
Thanks so much for stopping by our table at the Rise March in SF yesterday. What a wonderful event!
The educational sector can and should speak with one non-partisan voice clarifying the moral imperative for Congress to act on climate change to protect current and future students. National inaction on climate constitutes generational neglect; silence about this by the educational sector undermines our school institutional integrity, our mission, and our core values. No educator, educational leader, or school board has to be a silent witness to generational climate injustice. By speaking up together, the educational sector can help protect students from our current national policy of climate neglect.
Here are some quick, easy ways you can help:
Less than 5 minutes
Sign and share our Change.org petition to the CA State Board of Education, the California School Boards Association, and the National School Boards Association.
2. Support S4CA on Social Media:
Less than 5 minutes, but on-going as well
S4CA Facebook Page
S4CA Google Group
3. Empower your local and county school boards to pass climate action resolutions:
First step takes about 5 minutes; follow-up varies
At least 5 climate action resolutions have been passed simply as a result of one or two emails from a stakeholder. Here is a template email you can send your local and county Superintendents and school boards. It's also pasted below. If your school board does not respond to an email, don't worry. There are additional simple, easy steps you can take to move them to action. Join our next monthly meeting or email us with questions or if you want help planning a local campaign. Please try to include "communication clauses" embedded in your resolutions so that your school boards transmit official copies back to Schools for Climate Action as well as to neighboring school districts and county and state school boards as well. Here is a copy of the model school board resolution.
4. Additional Actions:
If your local and county school districts have already passed climate action resolutions, you can still encourage your local student councils, PTAs, and educator's unions to pass similar resolutions. We are also organizing youth-adult teams from districts which have passed resolutions to hand-deliver all passed resolutions to all members of Congress in March. Please start talking up this idea and stay in contact. We're hoping each district will send 2 students and 1 adult. We plan to share more details in October.
5. Join the S4CA Outreach Team:
1 to 5 hours per month
We need help getting the word out to school networks across the country. There are 14,000 school boards in the country and so far most are silent witnesses to our national climate neglect which harms students. Most have not spoken up not because they are untroubled by climate injustice. Rather, most school boards simply do not realize they have a non-partisan tool to help move Congress to act or that there is a precedent of school boards speaking up for climate justice. Most school boards have never had a constituent ask them to speak openly about climate change. Many or most school boards have never used the words climate change in official documents or even discussed it in a meeting. We are looking for people to volunteer one to five hours a month doing outreach to school stakeholders across the country to share our non-partisan tools to help educators and school leaders speak up for climate justice. Please complete this S4CA Outreach Volunteer Intake Form if you are interested in this commitment. We need volunteers who can commit to using respectful and non-partisan language and tone.
I want to end on a quick anecdote. Just yesterday, I learned from a marcher/teacher who stopped by our table about the 24th school board to pass a climate action resolution---Pajaro Valley Unified School District in Santa Cruz County, CA. Thank you, PVUSD Superintendent, board members, and youth advocates! This was the first any of the initial Schools for Climate Action campaign organizers learned of the Pajaro Valley USD local campaign.
The Schools for Climate Action campaign has the potential to go viral, as it becomes more and more untenable for educational leaders to remain silent about our national policy of generational climate neglect. Educational leaders are hungry for a non-partisan tool to speak up for young people. We have the potential to quickly generate a massive and effective signal that Congress (as well as all institutions and elected leaders) must act. Please join us in spreading the word about the 24 school board precedents. As more school boards join, the threshold for passing a resolution gets lower and lower and the language in the resolutions can get stronger and stronger. Speaking up for climate action could become the norm among the 14,000 school districts in the nation.
We will be sharing resolutions directly with Congress in March. Imagine the impact we could have if hundreds or thousands of school board, student council, PTA, and educators' union have passed climate action resolutions by then. We could help Congress understand that to be for American kids, they must act on climate. If they do not act on climate, they are harming American kids and future generations. There is a wall of silence which currently insulates many members of Congress from this simple and science-based paradigm. Many members of Congress have an older, a-scientific paradigm which allows them to think of themselves as acting in the best interest of kids while at the same time being disengaged from climate. We have the power to break the silence and help Members of Congress adopt to more accurate paradigms which are safer for young people and future generations.
Thanks for all you do! Also, big thanks to the S4CA supporters who marched or tabled with us yesterday---Kaya, Tanya, Nevin, Kristan, Kai, Lola, and June!
Finally, a big thanks to the People's Climate Movement and 350.org which organized that amazing event. Yay!
6th grade teacher
Co-founder and Lead Volunteer of Schools for Climate Action
Kai Guthrie is a ninth grade student at Credo High in Rohnert Park, a Citizens' Climate Lobby volunteer, and one of the founders of Schools for Climate Action campaign.