Montgomery County climate activists rally for changes in school system


ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and even amid coronavirus concerns, local climate activists found a way to raise awareness for environmental issues.

On Tuesday, protesters outside of the Carver Educational Services Building in Rockville brought attention to climate change issues not by gathering outside, but by maintaining a safe social distance and staying in their cars chanting and honking.

“So much attention has been rightfully focused on the deadly coronavirus emergency, but we are here to remind everybody that there is another emergency that we cannot forget,” said MCPS sixth grader Rosie Clemans-Cope.

“One of the scariest things we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that many adults in the U.S. really don’t believe in science. They’re at an immediate risk of death and they ignore it,” said Eleanor Clemans-Cope, a MCPS high school sophomore.

Rosie and Eleanor are sisters and they’re part of MoCo Students on Climate, an organization pushing MCPS to make environmentally-conscious choices and teach about the impacts of climate change in schools.

“Climate change is something that MCPS has pretty much ignored. The climate crisis is never fully explained in school. Kids told me they heard about the Climate Crisis at Fridays for the Future for the first time,” Rosie said during the demonstration.

The group has a petition with demands for the school system that include expanded education on climate change, the purchase of electric buses and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from school buildings.

“Even though MCPS is only one school system in one county, they can and must be a model for other school systems to go green,” Eleanor said.

“We need to demand that our community starts to be leaders in ending the climate catastrophe,” Rosie said.

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