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'If the earth were cool I'd still be in school' - Lily Parkin (Year 12)

On the 15th of March 2019 more than a thousand students decided to walk out of school to march in a strike against climate change, I was one of them. I walked down Lambton quay with my fellow students chanting about the change we want to see for our future. We walked together, as one, from Civic Square to Parliament grounds where we then listened to youth speakers and people of the government talk about the crisis we are starting to experience in our world. I couldn't help but feel so fantastically unified with those around me, all so in sync with the message we were trying to push.

Before going on the strike I viewed a lot of content on how students were ditching school and chucking away a day of learning. I couldn't help but laugh at these comments because that was the whole point. For people to listen we needed to do something drastic, so we marched in school hours for our future. While our education is greatly needed to succeed in our lives, a healthy earth is more so. For us as students of Wellington to be "ditching” school as a group it sends a message that we will not stand by as the generation in power neglects one of the greatest problems that will face us in years to come. We will not let them leave this mess for us to fix when they are gone.

We walked in unity, we chanted in unison, and we all stood before our government with the message that climate justice is needed and it's needed now! We hope that the government will pursue a change in their policies and push to minimise the climate from rising more than 1.5 degrees. This protest showed that our generation don't just care about how many likes we get on Instagram or who are our friends on Facebook, we care about how you treat the world that will soon be ours. We would much rather be able to focus on our education but instead we have to fight to be heard. I know that I would rather my biggest problem at the moment being an essay I forgot to write that is soon due but instead I am walking out of school school and protesting about a problem that has been tossed aside for years. I am fighting for the problems our elders have shrugged off as if they'd think about it later.

Climate change isn't a dilemma we can hide in the closet, it is a crisis that needs to be handled now! That is why we didn't go to school. That is why we marched.

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