On Tuesday February 25, students from Peterborough Youth Empowerment made simultaneous presentations to school board trustees from two local school boards. Their presentations were based in part on strategies that they developed at a forum in January at which they heard remote presentations from a trustee of the Vancouver school board of a similar effort there, as well as from Sophia Mathur and Cathy Orlando, a student and parent who had been part of a push to get the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury to declare a climate emergency.
At Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNC) the students had previously arranged to make a presentation and were expecting a welcome reception. As a result of the students’ presentations, the trustees committed to adopting the recommendations into their education, strategic and corporate practices.
“(Eco anxiety) stems from uncertainty about the prosperity of our future as young people and from the disconnect between hearing about the climate crisis in the news and the inaction that we are seeing in those in power,” says Jake Douglas, one of the PYE activists. “It can be addressed most effectively by taking action as we are today.”
In his presentation to the Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board (KPR), Darren Ranawaka said “We are undeniably living in a climate crisis, and we can all agree that it is time our school board starts taking action on this issue.” Malaika Collette added “This climate emergency is always in our minds, on our screens, in the news, with the headlines forecasting a future disaster yet when we arrive at school, it’s never directly addressed.”
After hearing the presentations, the board trustees agreed to refer the presentation to senior administration.
Here are a few stories gleaned from local media.