Teenagers are scheduled to rally at the Utah Capitol on Friday as part of a worldwide student strike to call for combating climate change.
The rally will be at 10 a.m., according to a Facebook page promoting Utah’s slice of the event. As of mid-morning Thursday, only 63 people have confirmed attendance, not all of them students.
Kate De Groote, a senior at Skyline High School, said activists want more protections for the state’s national parks and monuments, and are opposed to the Utah Inland Port.
“We are encouraging future action to be taken,” De Groote said, “and for people not to think this climate crisis is going to end by its own accord.”
Mishka Banuri, an 18-year-old student at West High School in Salt Lake City, told The Washington Post that her faith is one reason she is motivated to encourage action on climate change. Banuri is Muslim and believes in being a steward of the earth.
“I personally have no idea what my future is going to look like,” Banuri told the newspaper, "even if somehow we get our politicians to stop all fossil fuel projects and transition to renewables. Even if we did that, I know that climate change is going to have an impact on my life.
The international event is called School Strike 4 Climate. The organizers argue young people are the ones most likely to be impacted by climate change.
In Utah, whether the teens face any discipline for missing class may vary from school to school and student to student.
Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley, in an email, said parents in that district can excuse a certain number of absences for their children.
“We are not hearing much about this particular walk out,” Horsley wrote, “but in the past, we have worked with students who are involved to provide a safe place on campus for their demonstration that does not distract from the remaining student body and their ability to learn. We obviously want to get the students back into class as soon as possible.”