Climate change: How much time should you be allowed off school to protest?

Last updated at 12:37
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School pupils in Edinburgh will now be given a day a year when they can officially miss school to protest about climate change.

The city's council has voted in favour of the idea which means students can have "one authorised absence" to attend demos if their parents agree.

It's after thousands of students here in the UK and across the world chose to skip school so they could attend climate change demonstrations.

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The marches were inspired by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg who is 16 years old and who's missed school herself to make a stand.

Another global protest is planned for September, when lessons will have started again after the summer break.

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But while some support young people going on 'strike', not everyone agrees that children and teenagers should be miss lessons to join demonstrations.

Some think it disrupts teaching and are worried that allowing pupils to skip class can affect their learning.

The National Association of Head Teachers has previously said "nothing is more important than a child's education".

There's also the argument that it's difficult to know whether or not students who are given permission to miss school to protest actually go to the demonstration.

What do you think? How much time should young people be allowed to take off to protest?

If you can't see this vote, click here.

Edinburgh council has told Newsround that it was the first place in Scotland to allow pupils to miss school to attend a protest, but that with more protests planned during school time, there needed to be a rule put in place.

This is why a vote was held at a meeting on Friday 16 August to decide if the amount of time students can take off should be limited.

Councillor Ian Perry said: "We support the young people making their voices heard regarding climate change as it is one of the most important issues that's facing the world. However, there needs to be a balance struck and if we allow pupils more than one absence, the issue is that they could be regularly missing school, which affects their education.

"We have agreed pupils can take one authorised absence in the academic year for those who wish to take part in climate change protests as long as there is advance written parental consent. We are also encouraging schools to support pupils in any projects which helps educate them in school about climate change."

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Before the decision was made, Dylan Hamilton, who's 15 years old and one of the organisers of Scottish Youth Climate Strike, said: "Allowing us to protest once a year is simply not acceptable and will not let us get across how serious this is to the people in power.

"Our classic education, such as preparation for exams, may suffer because of the strikes. However, by striking we learn politics, organisation, science, independence and more about society than we've ever been taught.

"To say we are harming our education is untruthful."

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