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The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Marching for Mother Nature: Woodside Students Join Biggest Climate Protest in History

Isabella Calcagno
Woodside students attended the climate protest in San Francisco on September 27.

Woodside High School students joined millions of worldwide protesters in the biggest climate strike in history to spread awareness for climate change and fight for action from government leaders on September 20 in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and San Jose.

Woodside students prepared for the march last Tuesday during a meeting of the Tree Huggers Club, a club in which members promote environmental sustainability and climate action. Students made both posters and plans for the strike. Stella Haussler, a Woodside senior and the president of the Tree Huggers Club, spoke about the importance of this march.

“[Climate change] is a really big issue that people need to be more involved in,” Haussler said. “It’s [about] raising awareness. You can’t just do that through social media or through small things at school. Getting a big group together makes more of a difference and raises more awareness.”

Isabella Calcagno
Woodside seniors Julia Healy, Sophie Morgan, Lena McDonough, and Noelia Arteaga at the protest.

Students who attended protests during school hours received unexcused absences. Some students felt uncomfortable cutting class to attend the protests, but Haussler believes it was a fundamental part of the protest’s impact.

“I know a lot of people are really scared to cut class, but it raises awareness that students and youth want a change and that they’re willing to miss school for it,” said Haussler. “It brings attention to the district, local government, state government, and eventually to the upper levels [of government].”

Other students felt that skipping class wasn’t necessary to raise awareness or propel change. 

“I think that cutting class doesn’t really make a change,” said Woodside senior Lily Mein. Mein felt that there are other ways to enact environmental change.

“Education, in general, would help. It’s also important to be very public about what’s happening,” said Mein. “[Climate change] affects everyone, including future generations. It doesn’t matter what race you are or what you believe in. This is our planet, where everyone lives.”

The momentum of climate change is rising along with global temperatures, but many still feel that politicians are not fulfilling their responsibilities in tackling the issue.

“No one is addressing [climate change] as it should be addressed,” said Elena Campell, a Woodside senior and member of Tree Huggers. “It is a real issue, and I feel like it is not getting the attention it deserves. Laws need to change, in addition to how people act within their own lives.” 

On the morning of the global strike, protesters in San Francisco met outside of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office and marched through the city. They confronted a group of large corporations that included PG&E, Bank of America, Amazon Go, and BlackRock. Protesters also pressed government leaders, including Pelosi and California senator Diane Feinstein, for greater climate action.

Ann Akey, an AP Environmental Science teacher at Woodside, also felt that the United States government is not doing enough to ameliorate climate change.

Isabella Calcagno
Students designed creative posters for the protest.

“The president does not feel that this is a problem worth addressing,” said Akey. “He has been a denialist. There are certainly people in Congress who are interested. I don’t think the Supreme Court has done a lot of weighing in on this issue.” 

Akey expressed concern about the current and potential threats of climate change, including its political, social, and environmental effects.

“[Climate change] threatens our livelihoods, it threatens our food supply, and it affects political stability,” explained Akey. “It has already started changing migration patterns, and we’ve seen in this country all of the turmoil it has caused. We can go on and on [about] natural disasters that are climate-related and becoming more frequent.”

Despite the imminent, catastrophic threats of climate change, Akey feels proud of the young people who take action.

“It’s a great sign of hope that it’s finally happening,” Akey stated.

However, she also noted that climate change is an issue that requires sustained concern because it is such a long-term problem. 

“Pay attention to it,” said Akey. “It really is time to focus our efforts if we want not a better world, but a liveable world… The people we love, the places we love, the wildlife, the plants, the culture, it’s all at risk right now.”

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About the Contributor
Isabella Calcagno
Isabella Calcagno, Politics Editor
Isabella Calcagno is a senior and a first-year politics editor and journalist for The Paw Print. She is passionate about representing all voices and informing others on important political events through her writing. Her content includes in-depth articles and perspectives on politics-related topics. She spends her free time as a leader in a local Bay Area activist group and writing.

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