‘I skip school to stand up for the planet’

UK pupils will go on strike tomorrow over climate change, but one Scottish teenager has been protesting for months

Tes Reporter

‘I skip school to stand up for the planet’

Every Friday morning, Holly Gillibrand stands outside Lochaber High in Fort William for an hour to protest at the government's lack of progress on climate change.

The 13-year-old says the "sacrifice" is "a small price to pay for standing up for our planet".

"If you get a detention, that's nothing to how we will suffer in future if nothing is done," she said in an interview today with BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

"I want to get Scottish leaders to take climate change seriously and [know] that they're destroying my future."

The protesters: Meet the UK pupils striking against climate change

The headteachers’ take: Pupil strike could be ‘extremely disruptive’

The teacher: A German secondary teacher encouraging her pupils to act on climate change

Her action has been inspired by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who last year went on strike from school in Sweden after a spate of heatwaves and wildfires. Greta sat outside government buildings in September, accusing her country of not following the Paris Climate Agreement.

Since then, tens of thousands of children from across Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia have been inspired to hold their own demonstrations.

And tomorrow, for the first time, a coordinated protest is set to happen across the UK with pupils taking to the streets in more than 30 cities and towns.

For Holly, it is just an extension of her weekly protest, which began six weeks ago.

Holly announced her planned weekly strike in December from her Twitter account, in a message addressed to prime minister Theresa May, in which she said: "I am going to be striking from school because I will not sit silently while you and the British government contributes to the destruction of our only planet."

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