Climate change strikes by pupils must have limit – leader comment

On Friday next week, thousands of Scottish school children are expected to take part in a ‘strike’ in a bid to persuade adults to take climate change more seriously.

A number of school climate strikes have already taken place (Picture: John Devlin)

Ahead of the protest, the latest in a series across Europe, councillors in Edinburgh have agreed that those pupils who skip school will not face any “punitive action”.

Attending the protest will instead be regarded as an “authorised absence” – providing parental permission is obtained.

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Edinburgh pupils can skip school for climate protest, council rules

The aim of the protest is laudable. Scientists have spelt out the urgency of the situation and the action pledged by the world’s governments has, so far, fallen short of what is required.

On this particular subject, the children have been teaching the rest of us a lesson that we really do need to learn.

However, ultimately, the adults are still in charge and they need to be alive to the potential for well-meaning climate strikes to be exploited by those pupils who simply want to have a day off from school.

So there has to be a limit to the number of days that such strikes will be tolerated.

After all, the scientists of tomorrow will need to know their stuff.