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Students Who Participate in Global Climate Strike Will Be Marked "Unexcused," District Officials Say

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

September 19, 2019 -- Santa Monica and Malibu students who skip class on Friday as part of the Global Climate Strike will receive an unexcused absence, District officials said Thursday.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Ben Drati said the District cannot "supervise or monitor students" who choose to leave school and who are "jeopardizing their own safety."

District schools, Drati said, "are not sanctioning, coordinating or facilitating any planned student walkouts.

"We are unable to support various strikes or protests, as this would be a big disruption to our teaching and learning programming on our campuses," Drati wrote in his latter.

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There are more than 800 events planned nationwide on Friday calling for immediate action to end climate change. The strike comes three days before the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations.

School district across the country have been deciding whether to allow students to participate by giving them an excused absence on Friday.

This week, New York City announced its 1.1 million public school students could join the strike without worrying about an unexcused absence.

Seattle public schools, on the other hand, announced students would not be excused.

In his letter, Drati said local schools are offering other ways "to participate and support the movement," including holding in-school educational activities on Friday.

"There are a variety of opportunities to teach and model methods for effective civic engagement, while under our care and supervision at our school sites," Drati wrote.

"We ask that students consider the impact on their education by choosing to leave school and encourage any outside activities be conducted under parent supervision, after school or weekends."

The District, he said, does not have the "capacity to supervise or monitor students who choose to leave school for this purpose."

District officials want "to help parents understand that we cannot be responsible for your student outside of school, during an unauthorized walk out," Drati said.

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