#SchoolsForFuture

FridaysForFuture strikers have started to wonder, “What next?” Perhaps you are one of them. One answer is SchoolsForFuture!

Step 1: Get your school talking about the #ClimateEmergency
Step 2: Activate your school
Step 3: Activate your community

This can work at the elementary, middle, high school, or college levels. Effective tactics will depend on you and your school. Is your school supportive, neutral, or resistant to climate action?

However you choose to activate your school, act with kindness. Always keep your eye on the ball: building the movement and waking everyone up to climate action. We do this together!

Suggestions:

  1. Drop-off strike On Fridays, strike in front of your school during morning dropoff at a visible location. Your school might not allow climate striking on school grounds. If your school is supportive of climate action, consider building trust by respecting its wishes.

  2. Invite friends A lot of people are waiting for an invitation to join them. Get them to join you!

  3. Talk Tell your friends, teachers, parents, and administrators what you’re doing and why. Get them on board!

  4. Silent strike On Fridays, do not speak for all or part of the day. Maybe use a portable whiteboard. Maybe wear a medical mask with a message, eg. “Climate Silent Strike,” “Climate Emergency,” “Gasoline Kills” etc.

  5. Ribbon strike Wear a green or blue ribbon proudly and prominently however you prefer. Green for forest planet, blue for ocean planet, or maybe both.

  6. Lunch strike On Fridays, #SchoolStrike during lunch time.

  7. Digital strike Show solidarity by posting a photo with a sign on social media every Friday, using #FridaysForFuture and #SchoolsForFuture. Search these hashtags, like and share what you find.

  8. Alarm strike Phone alarms can be set for 11:58:20 AM to serve as reference to the Doomsday Clock indicating that humanity is poised at 100 seconds to midnight. The clock originally called out the existential threat of nuclear weapons but now focuses on the #ClimateEmergency. Alarms serve as a daily reminder of the crisis by causing a mild disruption. When the alarms ring, ask the class to do a photo with a #FridaysForFuture sign and post to social media.

  9. Full strike On Fridays, strike in front of the school (or in a prominent location of your choice). Full strike is a bold act of civil disobedience and could get media attention. Write a short statement ahead of time and carry it with you: In your own words, why are you striking?

  10. Art strike A climate art, climate music, and climate theatre event for students from schools across the city. See if you can forge relationships with activists from other schools, and see if you can get some great media attention.

  11. Promise for Future This pledge can be signed by anyone. It can be used to engage students, teachers, parents, principles, elected officials etc. in a conversation.

  12. Forge allies with administrators Talk to the principal to let the school administration know what you’re doing, and why. Bring a list of dire (but scientifically accurate) climate and ecological impacts to this meeting. Let the administration know that your goal is to begin a conversation about climate truth.

  13. Forge allies with teachers Find teachers within the school who are supportive of the strike. Build relationships with these teachers. Once trust is established, you might suggest that:

    1. They help advise #SchoolsForFuture and #CitiesForFuture actions

    2. The join TeachersForFuture groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/teachersforfuture/

    3. They discuss the climate crisis in their classroom. (Not just for science classes!)

    4. They ask permission to bring their classes to an alarm clock strike photo.

    5. They ask permission to bring their classes the “big” strikes that happen a few times per year. 

    6. They help build a coalition within the school (of teachers, administrators, etc.) to create a formal, public declaration of climate emergency.

  14. Climate assembly School assembly in which the climate crisis is discussed. This could feature the climate strikers themselves, a teacher, or an outside speaker or panel of speakers, such as climate scientists or experienced local activists. If going with a single outside speaker, be careful that you know they are a good speaker, (e.g. go to one of their talks, or find a video online of them giving a talk). If going with a panel, find a charismatic facilitator (e.g. one of the strikers, a beloved teacher, a parent in the school who is a performer, etc.).

  15. Climate summit If your school has multiple environmental clubs, call a SchoolsForFuture Climate Summit where you get them all in one place to discuss how to activate the school. This can bring in a variety of tactics and a common goal! Remind everyone that it’s actually a good thing to belong to multiple groups. They can strengthen their original groups while also activating the school with e.g. drop-off strikes.

  16. Climate presentation Compile resources/make a presentation for teachers to educate them on the climate crisis so they don’t spread misinformation.

  17. Media supercharge All school-level and community-level tactics can be supercharged by reaching out to media, especially riskier actions such as full strike. Reporters will be interested in young strikers activating school communities.

 

#CitiesForFuture

Once you have activated your school with #SchoolsForFuture, it is time for #CitiesForFuture.

First activate the school. Then activate the broader community and confront power.

Use your own judgment to know when it’s time. A good rule of thumb: when you have support throughout the school - not just a handful of drop-off striking students, but also supportive teachers, administrators, and parents - then it is time. Not everyone will be supportive; in fact, it might just be a small percentage, and there might still be people in the school community who oppose it. But once you have a coalition of a decent number of students and adults, it is time.

Community engagement is a means for converting our striking energy into actual emissions reductions, which is what the physical Earth system cares about. In addition to broadly recruiting additional activists and shifting the general culture, FridaysForFuture activists can convince community policymakers to take actual decisions that decrease emissions.

Suggestions:

  1. Promise for Future Ask the school to sign PromiseForFuture as an institution. Ask local policymakers to sign it as individuals. Try confronting local leaders in pairs: one person videos while the other interacts with the leader. This is aggressive and might be best targeted to climate deniers (either hard “hoax” deniers or soft “incremental” deniers).

  2. Give climate talks Organize presentations / conversations within the community (libraries, churches, etc.). You will find that there’s a HUGE demand for such talks, especially from youth. Within your group, you might find people who like giving talks, and people who prefer organizing them. It’s a lot of work for one person to do both - and it’s more fun as a pair. You can switch roles at the next talk if you like.

  3. Speak at city council meetings Any time, but especially when the agenda includes votes about e.g. power plants, community choice aggregation, public transit, bike paths, climate plans, etc. Mobilize as many activists as possible to go to these meetings. 

  4. Protest at city council meetings This tactic could be used if the council has climate deniers; if the council is friendly, it may be better to work with the council instead of against it. Sit-ins, die-ins, chants, media.

  5. Climate forums When there are local elections, organize climate forums or debates for the candidates.

  6. Endorsements If your SchoolsForFuture group feels that a local candidate is best for the climate, endorse! 

  7. Art strike. Similar to above, but you involve the whole community, not just schools.

  8. Marches (especially on the “big strike” days).

  9. Write letters-to-the-editor to papers. This usually works best if you read an article and have a powerful emotional reaction to it. Be authentically you, and let your emotion shine through. If you’re a student terrified for your future, say so!

  10. Write op-eds in local and national papers. If you submit to a large paper and don’t hear back, don’t waste the piece - publish it locally.

  11. Banner drops on freeway overpasses.

  12. Coalition building with other local groups, such as Sunrise, YCS, XR, etc. Remember: you can be part of many groups. You don’t need to “pledge allegiance” to just one!

  13. Celebrity strike Get celebs to “strike” and share images through social media with homemade FFF signs. 

  14. All community-level tactics can be supercharged by reaching out to media. Reporters will be interested in youth strikers and their schools activating their communities.

Let us know what’s working and what isn’t at schools@fridaysforfuture.org or on twitter @FFF_schools.