FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – Students in Miami-Dade and Broward didn’t let a little rain dampen their resolve to combat climate change.
They took part rallies Friday which were part of the hundreds of Climate Strike events in over 90 countries worldwide.
Many of the students say they were inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future” movement.
In Miami-Dade, the rally was held outside Miami Beach City Hall. Students shouted “Miami is under attack” to underline concerns over sea rise in their coastal city as they joined the global climate strike.
“I’m scared that I am going to lose my house” and that climate change is one of his generation’s defining issues,” said 16-year-old Aleksandar Demetriades.
With a coastline stretching 1,350 miles, Florida faces some of the gravest risks from rising ocean levels.
Those in attendance said the supported the Green New Deal and called for ending the creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure in the county.
Miami-Dade Public Schools said they supported students as long as they followed the rules.
“On Friday, students throughout the District will be participating in several climate change activities in their schools. As always, students’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly will be respected and supported, as long as their actions adhere to M-DCPS’ Code of Student Conduct and do not disrupt the educational environment.”
In Broward, the students, parents, and some teachers rallied outside the Public School district building, right around the corner from the federal courthouse.
Elijah Ruby is beyond passionate about climate change – so much so it got him into a little trouble with school.
Ruby joined thousands in the global Climate Strike by attending a rally hosted at the KC Wright building in Fort Lauderdale.
He said he tried for weeks to get South Broward High School on board with making the rally a school trip.
Ruby told CBS4 News he handed out flyers to promote the rally, but was never warned about the consequences.
The school suspended him and revoked his rights to homecoming and prom. But it didn’t stop him from being an activist.
“My punishment is not what I’m really worried about,” he said. “I’m worried that I’m trying to get Broward County Public Schools administrative body to not only let students organize but promote organization.”
Guidelines from the county allow for students to organize climate change-related activities.
“Broward County Public Schools supports students’ rights to express their views during peaceful and lawful protests. Students may coordinate activities regarding the youth climate strike on campus with their school leadership or outside of the school day. Any student leaving campus without permission will receive an unexcused absence and face appropriate school disciplinary consequences.”
Ruby talked with school administrators before Friday’s strike and they told him he was no longer suspended and that they’ll have a later discussion about the incident.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)