Are Walkouts Effective?


Senior Adrian Tayag speaking at the climate change strike PC: Shea Ribeiro

Katie Taing

Walkout, by dictionary definition, is a sudden angry departure, especially as a protest or strike. Typically, walkouts happen in order to evoke a change or bring attention to certain areas. A nation wide climate change walkout took place on September 20. Recently, at Eleanor Roosevelt High School our own students evoked a climate strike. This was a nation wide event in which students left their classrooms for 11 minutes. Those 11 minutes stood for the 11 years we have left before climate change is irreversible. The strike was hosted by the Sierra Club President, Adrian Tayag. However, the result/matter of effectiveness could be seen in all different angles.

Student holding sign during the climate change strike.
PC: Shea Ribeiro

Personally, I do believe that the climate strike had an effect. Although it might not be a large impact, the strike was the first start to action. Jason Isaac, senior, states, “if the strike had never happened, I wouldn’t have a clue about what’s going on.” I believe that this statement goes for many. I feel as though many Roosevelt students as well as people nationwide would not understand the severity of climate change. Isaac also states, “I’m glad that I went because now I know about the issue of climate change.” The climate change strike I feel opened many people’s eyes. Not only our school was affected, but nationwide people took notice. However, many people feel as though the strike did not do much.

Many feel as though a strike would not do much. They feel as though just walking out isn’t taking action. Jacqueline Pham, junior, states,” It’s great that people in our school are passionate but I feel like it did not do much.” Seeing this point of view, I do understand why they could say that. In retrospect, it may feel like us as a little school might not have much impact. Pham states, “even though it was nationwide, I feel like many of our nation’s leaders won’t act upon it.” I do agree with the fact that many of our nation’s leaders most likely won’t take charge, however; starting off with a strike shows how serious many feel about this issue.

Overall, the climate strike, in my opinion, was a positive movement towards change. Although this strike may be small, it still has some impact. This strike opened the door for possibilities, providing recognition of the serious issue of climate change.