Students’ Reasons to Not Participate in SF Climate Strike


Many students who did not attend the San Francisco Climate Strike stayed back for academic commitments or were in disagreement with the movement. Staff Photo: Kyra Geschke.

Kyra Geschke, Spread Editor

While approximately 70 Menlo students chose to excuse their absence on Friday and most of whom participated in the Global Climate strike according to Victoria Cruikshank, the majority of Menlo students chose to stay in class for the day and not join the strike in San Francisco. 

For some students, their reasoning was purely practical: they did not want to miss class and make up the work later. “I did not want to miss classes, especially before tests that are coming up,” senior Caleb Julian-Kwong said. Along with Julian-Kwong, sophomore Louisa Moyer chose not to go to the strike due to academic reasons. “I had two really big tests today and I think it would have been disingenuous for me to go to the climate strike when my focus was on other stuff,” Moyer said. “I do care about the environment, but I think there is a different time for me to go to stuff.” 

Many of the students who didn’t attend the strike due to prior academic commitments felt that the stress of missing classes outweighed their desire to go to the march. “I think I would have gone if we could have not missed class,” junior Mia Beninato said. 

For sophomore Rupal Nimaiyar, she was unable to attend the march because of her parents’ concerns about her safety. “I did not go to the strike because my parents would not let me because they thought it wasn’t safe and I would probably get separated from everyone,” Nimaiyar said.

Others disagreed with the sentiment of the movement entirely. For senior Charlotte Acra, marches like the Global Climate Strike give those participating a false sense of impact on the issue at hand. “I did not go to the climate strike because I do not think that marches are the most politically effective way to influence our policymakers,” Acra said. Along with her disagreement with the method of change, Acra feels as though some who choose to participate in marches are inconsistent with their actions which negates the point of the marches. “There are a lot of people who go, but then continue to drive to school or continue to eat meat,” Acra said, “I just think that if people are going to go to these marches, they have to be consistent in their actions with what they say that their values are.” 

Senior Zach Saito expressed a similar sentiment to Acra when explaining why he chose not to attend the strike. “I believe in climate change. I just don’t believe [striking is] the correct course of action to take. I do not believe in the strike itself,” Saito said. “I think there are more effective and more positive ways that you can take action against this issue than striking.”