City and South East Students School Strike for Climate at ICCSD Offices

Shoshie Hemley, Reporter

Wind blew hand-held signs stating “System Change, Not Climate Change” and other various phrases as around a dozen students from City High and South East school striked for climate outside of ICCSD offices on April 26. For Massimo Paciotto-Biggers ‘23 and his two peers Alex Howe ‘23 and Ian Martinez ‘23, this was their sixth week of school striking. The trio has been skipping school every Friday, demanding climate action from the Iowa City School District offices. Some of their demands include solar panels on the ICCSD schools and a climate education curriculum at schools. Paciotto-Biggers started striking along with the 1.4 million other students who skipped school on March 15.

“I feel pretty good. More and more kids are asking me about [the strike]. On twitter, I’m getting a ton of support, I got 2K likes on something,” Paciotto-Biggers said.

The movement has been led by 16 year old Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg. Iowa Poet Laureate, Mary Swander, spoke at the event, reading a poem with the help of some City students. The 100 Grannies movement also attended the strike. They are a group of elderly women who support the climate movement and this was their third strike they came to. City student, Yardley Whaylen ‘20, spoke at the event as well, relating it to her personal stories of her love of the environment. The strikes have been gaining media attention. At today’s strike, Iowa Public Radio and the Little Village attended. The students plan to continue striking every Friday till the ICCSD meets their demands.