Students walk out as part of #FridaysForChange global movement

LOS ALTOS, Calif. (KGO) -- High school and college students across the globe walked out of their classrooms Friday morning as part of the #FridaysForChange movement.

ABC7 News was at Los Altos High School as dozens left campus to bring attention to the issue of climate change.

"This cannot wait anymore. We are running out of time, and something needs to be done, and we're out here trying to encourage that," said Los Alto High School senior Francesca Seni. "It's an emergency and I don't feel our country is doing enough to stop it."

Many participants want the Trump administration to acknowledge that climate change is real. They also viewed Friday's protest as an opportunity to educate other community members about the cause.

"We're almost at the point now where individual change can't do it," said Los Altos High School senior Benjamin Shell. "We need large scale changes in the system with regulations and policies put in place."

Based on early estimates, nearly 1.4 million young people from more than 125 countries took part in the walkout. The movement initially began in Stockholm, Sweden in August of last year by then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg. She started striking outside her country's parliament as a way to get them to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

"We need to really slow down our consumption of fossil fuels," said Los Altos High School senior Katie Radcliffe. "Another big issue that we find personal to us is that not everyone believes in climate change, so we just want to put the voice out there."

The students were also joined by handful of community environmental activists, including Menlo Park resident Heather Mirletz, who said she felt inspired by their efforts.

"This is a human problem, this is a global problem and to have people in every corner, kids in every corner recognizing it is absolutely incredible," said Mirletz.

Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, a sociology professor at San Jose State University, says this generation is more engaged than ever.

"There is definitely a movement of young people looking at the world, saying what are the issues, and coming up with solutions," said Myers-Lipton. "This what a democracy is. You bring a redress to the people that are making the decisions and say, we want to see action."
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