Read the 'climate change' sick note baffling teachers across Australia: 'Feelings of despair'
A mock sick note that has been made available to students so they can wag school and protest for climate action has sparked outrage among teachers. School Strike 4 Climate is calling on students to take to the streets and have what it calls 'a sick day for a sick planet' on Friday. The sick note has been developed by climate scientists, University of professor Dr David Karoly and ANU College of science professor Dr Nick Abel. The document claims the student is 'unfit' to attend school as the government's inaction on has caused 'increased anxiety' among other 'symptoms'. 'Elevated stress on seeing the impacts of the climate emergency now in Australia and worldwide,' it reads. 'Feelings of despair due to the disregard of leaders who won't have to endure the future they'll leave behind.' Teachers and schools across the country are not amused by the stunt, with School Strike 4 Climate spokesperson, Joey Thompson, 16, explained the reasons behind his involvement. 'As we hurtle towards a summer of dangerous heat waves, the federal Labor government is failing young people by approving new coal and gas projects,' he said. 'They are just pouring more fuel on the fire. We need to take action to make sure our voices are heard and continue to fight for a fossil fuel-free future, instead of empty promises and continued degradation of our planet's health.' Dr Karoly said: 'This fight is the most important one that we'll fight in this lifetime or next. 'We've left a mess for the younger generations, and we all need to do our part to support them in ensuring there's hope in the future that lies ahead of them. 'That's why I've put my name down as a signatory of the climate doctor's certificate, and why I'll be side-by-side with these incredible students on November 17.' The country's education departments say they will not accept the downloadable sick note as a reason for a pupil's absence on Friday. 'Any student not at school or in class without an explanation will be marked absent,' a Queensland Department of Education spokesperson said. 'For the safety and wellbeing of students, parents and carers will be contacted on that day and asked to provide a reason for the absence. 'This is standard procedure for any unexplained student absence,' they said. The department has also warned that there could be consequences for students wearing their school uniforms at climate rallies. 'If a state school student is wearing their school uniform in public, there is an expectation that they will behave responsibly,' the spokesperson said. 'State schools set out clear standards of behaviour that they expect from their students in their student code of conduct.' Dr Karoly, who did his PhD on understanding climate variability and its impacts around the world, is adamant the strike is a worthwhile use of students' time. 'It is as appropriate as going to a museum or an art gallery or to Parliament House or a field trip to experience the natural environment,' he said. 'Those are really valuable and they're taking them outside of school. This opportunity (is for them) to leave school and go on an experience to hear speakers from their peers, from other school students.' The academic, who refers to himself as a 'ghost' - a gray haired older scientist - will not be addressing a rally on Friday as all the speakers are school students. But he will be taking his granddaughter to one 'to give her some experience because she's concerned about the environment and what she wants to do is to try to be involved in understanding and preventing (climate change)'.