Updates from the Youth Lobby (03/02/18)
1) Don’t forget to organize a field trip to the Youth Rally on Thursday, April 12th!
Has you school organized a field trip to the 3rd Annual Rally for the Planet? The youth rally will take place from 8:30am – 1:30pm on Thursday, April 12th. Drop-off will be at Montpelier High School and the march to the Statehouse begins at 10am. Registration is not required, but it is helpful for planning
2) Join us at the next planning meeting on March 11th!
Join us in the Montpelier High School library from 3pm-6pm for our 3rd Planning Coalition Meeting. There is still a ton of work to get done, and many important decisions to be made. One of the most important decisions we need to make is who will be invited to speak and perform this year. We have a ton of great suggestions on our shared Google Doc, please take a look and then use this Google Form to let us know which speakers/performers you feel would be the best.
3) Congratulations to the young racial justice activists at Montpelier and Burlington High Schools for raising awareness and promoting honest, candid, and civil discourse on the issue of racial justice in Vermont and beyond.
The Vermont Youth Lobby strongly supports the students at Montpelier and Burlington High Schools who lobbied so hard for the ability to fly the Black Lives Matter flag over their schools as part of a concentrated and growing effort to raise awareness of implicit bias, privilege, and the need to build greater equity in our schools and broader communities. We appreciate the clear rejection of any anti-police sentiment or purported violence associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
4) Congratulations to all the students who lobbied Vermont lawmakers to take greater action on school safety and sensible gun reforms.
Over the past two weeks hundreds of students, many of them representatives of the Vermont Youth Lobby, organized and participated in two major Calls to Action at the Vermont Statehouse. The presence of these students, as well as their articulate and well-informed arguments, have had a significant impact on all three pieces of gun safety legislation in the Statehouse. Below are just a few of the many news articles, which highlight the impact of student activists on current legislation.
- The Vermont Conversation (with interviews of Harwood Union Senior Meagan Filkowski, Twinfield Union 8th grader Gabe Groverman, and St. Johnsbury Senior Hannah Pandya)
5) Thoughts on the upcoming national school walkout (March 14th) and March For Our Lives (March 24th)
The Women’s March’s Youth EMPOWER group is planning a national school walkout on March 14, 2018. At 10 a.m. in every time zone, organizers are encouraging teachers, students, administrators, parents and allies to walk out for 17 minutes — one minute for every person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
We strongly encourage every student within the Youth Lobby network to work closely with their school administrators and teachers to plan an event appropriate to their school community and culture.
We also encourage youth lobby representatives to be sensitive to the opinions of ALL students, including those who are concerned about losing their Constitutional right to bear arms. This is a complicated and complex issue with no easy solutions, and we need to do everything we can to ensure that we are respectful of each other’s beliefs, while at the same time being open to challenge from people with perspectives different than our own.
The Youth Lobby is also supporting all of the young Vermonters who are currently organizing the March For Our Lives, which will take place on Saturday, March 24th. The lead organizer, Madison Knoop, is looking for students to help organize this sister march. If students would like to help out please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/0JQrEk09OnzP7mWO2 and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
The theme for the Rally For the Planet this year is CLIMATE JUSTICE! In addition to action on climate change, there will also be booths and speakers who will address some of the other hot topics this year, including racial justice and school safety. The focus of all our work continues to be common sense solutions.
Once again, a big thank you to all of the youth activists who have stepped up in a big way this year.