SHS Students Strike for Climate Change


Maeve Lawler and Emma Huggins

On Friday, September 20th, an estimated 7,000 people marched in Boston protesting the current climate crisis. Of that 7,000, several SHS students were in attendance.

Junior Marina Glennon heard about the event through social media and from her mother, who also is politically active. It didn’t take much convincing on Glennon’s part when it came to getting her parents to allow her to go: “I did not have to convince them at all,” Glennon said, adding that her mom “wrote a letter to Mr. Wargo explaining [the event] and its importance.”

Glennon said she went to the event because there are limited opportunities to participate in similar local protests, and she felt very inspired by the many people coming together to make a change. She believes that making a change must start with “targeting corporations and making them listen.”

Two other SHS juniors, Monte Swart and Abby Sullivan, attended the strike alongside Glennon. They were also informed of the strike by social media and the popular environmental activist, Greta Thunberg. Much like Glennon, Swart’s participation took little convincing–in fact, he stated that his mom convinced him to go.

According to Sullivan, the march started on the Boston Common, then moved its way to the State House. Aside from a few older people, the strike was “mostly young people,” explained Sullivan.

Protestors marched with several goals in the forefront: encouraging Governor Charlie Baker to declare a statewide emergency, passing laws that would help those people living in polluted areas, and stopping the state of Massachusetts from using harmful fuels.

Swart, Sullivan, and Glennon all held signs at the strike to illustrate these points. Swart’s sign even featured the popular TV personality Bill Nye, “the Science Guy.”

“The Green New Deal” was the main focus of this event, according to Sullivan. This proposed national legislation, which is sponsored by New York representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, will address climate change and economic inequality.

While encouraging statewide and nation-wide change was a big part of the event, Glennon said she is also focusing on more local reforms that can be made. She is aspiring to form a club at SHS, with the intent of making people truly aware of the consequences of the climate crisis. Glennon said she wants to “make people think about what’s going on” by having teachers show videos or by putting up posters around the school.

Swart and Sullivan also believe that as a school community, SHS could be more effective in enforcing composting and recycling in the lunchroom.

If given the chance to participate in another strike, all three SHS juniors responded with a resounding “yes!”