This is how Bellingham students are protesting inaction on climate change

Bellingham high school students are planning a walkout and rally Friday morning to protest government inaction on climate change, part a nationwide series of events that reflect a growing worldwide youth movement.

Organizer Brendan Gardner, a junior at Bellingham High, said the Youth Climate Strike is modeled after Extinction Rebellion in Britain and Fridays for Future in Sweden, which started last summer.

“When I saw that (Fridays for Future) was planning to have an inaugural protest in the U.S. on March 15th, I sent out a message to a few friends to see if they wanted to organize a student strike in Bellingham,” Gardner said in an email.

A walkout is planned in advance of an 11 a.m. Friday rally at City Hall, 210 Lottie St. Dozens of similar events are planned Friday around the nation.

Local students have received a permit to close Lottie Street for the event, which mirrors the February 2018 Students for Action demonstration that drew some 2,000 students and others in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Gardener said he has been gathering support via word of mouth and the social media apps Snapchat and Instagram.

He said members of the student group have discussed the walkout with school officials.

School spokeswoman Dana Smith said parents are urged to discuss the protest with their children.

Classes will be operating on a normal schedule, and parents must excuse any absences, Smith said.