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High school students, dissatisfied with the absence of climate education, push for reforms

Water floods a damaged trailer park (Via Steve Jacks/Shutterstock)

A group of young people, clad in light blue T-shirts labeled with #teachclimate, gathered in a hearing room at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul in late February. Despite the cold weather, contrasting with the state’s unusually warm winter, the students and advocates from Climate Generation urged the Minnesota Youth Council to back a bill mandating increased climate change education in schools.

Ethan Vue, a high school senior originally from California, where he experienced droughts and extreme temperatures, now resides in Minnesota and is a strong advocate for the bill. Reflecting on his classmates’ struggles with heat waves, Vue expressed frustration that schools did not cover these issues adequately.

“The topic is briefly mentioned. At most, we hear about global warming and the planet getting warmer,” Vue stated in a phone interview.

Libby Kramer of Climate Generation (Via Steve Jacks/Shutterstock)

While many schools cover topics like air quality, ecosystems, biodiversity, and land and water through Earth and environmental science classes aligned with National Science Teachers Association standards, students and advocates argue this is not enough.

They are calling for school districts, boards, and state legislators to mandate broader education on climate change, integrating it into various subjects.

Contrastingly, some states and school districts have resisted this trend. For instance, Texas rejected textbooks containing climate information, and in Florida, educational materials downplay or deny climate change altogether.

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