Students are launching Green New Deal for Schools campaigns in more than 50 high schools across America. From Pennsylvania to Michigan to Arizona, the campaigns are asking that school districts face the climate crisis, listen to students’ needs and deliver on the campaign’s promises to address climate change.
According to the Sunrise Movement, who is heading the campaigns efforts, they are mandating that school boards and superintendents pass district-wide policies, which will in turn pass federal legislation to transform school systems to stop the climate change.
“For too long, students have been left out of the decision making spaces within our schools,” Shiva Rajbhandari, Sunrise Movement organizer and Idaho’s youngest elected school board member, said. “Students are the most important constituents of our school boards and they deserve to call the shots for their own education. Public schools belong to us, and we know we deserve better.”
The demands for the Green New Deal for Schools campaigns include:
- Safe and clean buildings
- Free and healthy lunch
- Pathways to green jobs
- Climate disaster plans
- Climate curriculum
Student organizers were trained on how to run campaigns in their schools, plan protests, and grow their organizing skills during multi-week summer camps hosted by the Sunrise Movement in numerous states across the country. The Green New Deal for School campaign “comes on the heels of Sunrise’s historic win for an American Climate Corps, building youth momentum across the country,” according to a press release from the Sunrise Movement.
“The Green New Deal for Schools will transform public schools in America to face the climate crisis and ensure all students receive safe and high-quality education—no matter their zip code or the color of their skin,” Adah Crandall, 17, one of the leaders of the campaign, said. “Our generation is on the front lines of this fight and it’s time for our school districts to take real action.”