The San Diego Unified Council of PTAs celebrated Tuesday, May 26, following a lengthy effort to get the statewide gathering of parent-teacher associations to adopt language acknowledging the existence of human-driven climate change and urging classroom education on the subject.
"This resolution urges California PTA units, councils, and school districts to advocate for climate legislation, and urges schools to educate children on climate issues," local parent Sarah Fuhrmann Thorwirth explained to assembled media.
"Children don’t have a vote about their future. As a parent, it's important to me to think beyond today. What legacy are we leaving for our future? My children will be affected by climate change — it's imperative that we act today."
The state PTA, which represents some 800,000 members advocating on behalf of California's 9.3 million children, is looking next to take the issue to the national council, though a date for such action has yet to be announced.
"This resolution is the result of more than two years' hard work from the San Diego PTA council," noted Derby Pattengill, representing the local arm of the group. He noted that once-novel ideas such as kindergarten and a juvenile justice system became commonplace largely at the urging of parent-teacher activists.
"We do a lot more than just have bake sales."
Ana Little-Saña, a tenth-grade student at e3 Civic High, a charter school with a campus located within the new downtown public library where the gathering took place, commended the measure while expressing concern on behalf of herself and fellow students.
"I'm concerned about the impact climate change will have on my future," Little-Saña said. “While California's drought and record temperatures are of great concern, we need to understand that without direct intervention, matters will only become worse.”