Argyllshire Advertiser leader column – September 20, 2019

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Young people and their climate

Argyll and Bute Council has a duty of care to pupils to ensure their health, and their safety, during the school day. Likewise, parents have a responsibility to ensure their children attend school.

Given the seemingly clear and imminent (though some might disagree) threat to the global climate, and the prospect of this accelerating to the point of no return, there must surely be room for a common sense compromise to allow young people – tomorrow’s adults – to protest over climate change.

It may sound trite, but this is a far bigger issue than rules and regulations within a Scottish local authority.

There was, though, an interesting difference in tone between a letter to parents issued on Tuesday which noted that Lochgilphead High School ‘cannot allow pupils to leave school to participate in demonstrations, no matter how worthy the cause’ and the council’s response on Wednesday which suggested that, with parents’ permission, it would be recorded as an absence.

Maybe the council should change tack, get right behind this cause – rules aside – add its collective voice to the campaign and back these young people to the hilt.