Marc Schmitt-Weigand, 47, and Thomas Stegh, 44, thinking: “so right.” The, the, Greta Thunberg and their young comrades-in-arms, the occurrence of the “Fridays for Future”protests for a more consistent climate protection. But: “It’s about time that we do adults,” says Schmitt-Weigand. So, among other things, the Bio-delivery service provider from Dortmund and Stegh, a software developer from Hürth to have formed the “Parents for Future”. A “group of parents and other adults” who are in solidarity to the youth movement, and “back cover”. With the first success: The Initiative is growing daily, more comrades-in-arms nationwide have found “Parents for the Future”. Among other things, a concern to share: children and young people should be allowed to demonstrate during their time at school for the protection of the climate. Why? Marc Schmitt-Weigand and Thomas Stegh in an interview with the star.
“Parents for Future” on (your) climate protection
Mr Schmitt-Weigand, you’ll be in Dortmund, while you, Mr Stegh, come from Hürth. Together, they organize the national Initiative of “Parents for the Future”. How have you found together?
Marc Schmitt-Weigand: In principle, we have found via WhatsApp. The “Fridays for Future”movement has demonstrated how you can organize nationally via the messenger service. Within this network, there was no longer a WhatsApp group of parents, interested adults will have to be replaced. At some point, it has developed in our discussions the idea for “Parents for the Future”.
Thomas Stegh: I’m joined by my daughter on the “Fridays for Future”group for adults. It would be the end of December or beginning of January. My daughter was there-Westphalia is already one of the “Fridays for Future”groups for North Rhine-Westphalia. At some point, I group am joined and eventually in the group for parents to come.
Why a new Initiative, the “Parents for Future”?
Schmitt-Weigand: We have discussed in the WhatsApp group, how we can use the “Fridays for Future”movement as a parent and adult support. That this is urgently necessary, was us also by the statements of the Prime Minister, Armin Laschet aware of. Of ways: The students would go “the easy way out and skip school”. We realized suddenly: wait a minute, something’s going wrong. The policy puts pressure on our and other children and distracts from the subject, for the Kids to go on the road. This pressure on the children, we have felt as parents of course. At the latest, in this Moment, we knew that we must do as parents. We need to support the students, under the massive pressure extremely difficult. We need to act as adults as well from our Position.
when were founded “Parents for the Future,” and how many are there now?
Schmitt-Weigand: The group “Parents for the Future,” was founded about a week ago, with six to eight people.
Schmitt-Weigand: Yes, unbelievable. How big the Initiative is, in the meantime, it’s hard to say – but there are now six Regional and 37 local chapters of “Parents for the Future” on WhatsApp.
How do you explain this dynamic?
Schmitt-Weigand: We seem to have hit a nerve. For many people, who perceive the protests of the students with a great sympathy. But also remember that behind your sinister energy, a terrible fear and an intense concern stuck. Many think of just The right. That’s what we think also. Therefore, we wanted to give parents and adults an opportunity to support the “Fridays for Future”protests; to give back.
Greta Thunberg, a source of inspiration for their initiative, I would perhaps say that The back cover comes too late …
Stegh: … we received great support from the “Fridays for Future”movement – and this is based on reciprocity.
The children and young people have rights. What you make of it?
But the “Fridays for Future”movement would not give it, perhaps, when adults and parents would be more consistently stood for the protection of the climate. Before it had to, so to speak, do their children. You have the feeling to have something to do?
Schmitt-Weigand: I don’t know if “catching up” is the right word for it …
Stegh: … we can’t leave our children alone. That much is clear.
you Have a guilty Conscience?
Stegh: let’s just say that the children and young people have rights. This raises the question: What do you make of it? And that is just discussed in our organization team. We have learned, in principle, the entire structures of the “Fridays for Future”. Both with regard to the communication but also the basis of democratic decision-making in terms of: are we supposed To demonstrate then and there, or not?
Schmitt-Weigand: For us is most important: What are the “Fridays for Future want”? Since we are only once behind it. For that, we know a lot of support. But, Yes: It’s about time that we adults do something. We do not want to interfere, but at the same time, as the groups of “Fridays for our Future,” and “Parents for the Future,” can network. We try that our subjects are in agreement with “Fridays for Future”. Whether it is to participate in demonstrations, custom demonstrations, or work in schools: The decision will then be taken locally and jointly.
they are committed as “Parents for the Future”, among other things, that children may demonstrate during school hours for the protection of the climate. Do not lay the responsibility for the future of the children in the hands of this?
Ragna, Linus, Ronja and Florian: you cut classes in order to save the world
Stegh: The children and young people make. You have to do it apparently, unfortunately,. If, for example, a Mr Laschet represents the students, to go the easy way out by skipping school – an impertinence. He would have been a Time in a “Fridays for Future”event, he knew, that he talks nonsense.
That delegate the responsibility for the future of the children, don’t you see?
Schmitt-Weigand: The question is legitimate. But the students have a good sense of the Situation Brenz is just you, the still have many years of life on this planet to perceive the Situation as a personally dramatic. You need to encourage to go on the road to this – said casually – verschnarchten, lame Old.
And you can only do that by skipping school? Education is for the future of the children is also a fundamental component. Why can the children not Saturday or Sunday on the road? You would miss in the already demanding life of a school, nothing, and nevertheless for their positions occur.
Schmitt-Weigand: The children and young people themselves aware of a breach of the rules, go in the conflict. And we pay them great respect. It is much more than schooling – it’s about freedom of expression and nothing less than our future and their future. For me, the debate about the compulsory education is a false debate that distracts from the real issue. The managers must now think, finally, the protection of children, when it comes to climate protection.
The conflict can only be in the school resolved
Stegh: Absolutely. And, I believe, to the education of these young people. You are formed. And they are engaged. You may need to make up for the school, is all too aware of that. They do – also, just because you take responsibility.
So should not be allowed to truant children for demonstrations in General, the school – also, when it comes to climate protection?
Stegh: This decision should lie with the schools. What is legitimate and what is not? This discussion I think is in order. In this case, and this is, in my opinion, the Problem is trying to cap the commitment of the pupils, or even wipe out. The children and young people is a good thing – and they get pressure from above, from the policy.
Schmitt-Weigand: The Signal that arrives at the children, and is fatal: Will I be taken seriously? The will for political apathy. That’s why I also think that the conflict can only be in the school dissolved.
How old are your kids?
Stegh: I have a teenage daughter who is on fire for the “Fridays for Future”movement.
Schmitt-Weigand: I have three daughters from primary school age up to degree level.
What to say to your children? Share your opinion?
Schmitt-Weigand: At home there is much discussion about it. My daughters are also engaged in “Fridays for our Future,” and without your permission, I would not have started perhaps (laughs). For me, as a father, the topic arrived right when my daughter was a Demonstration told. She told, on the one hand, that all wonderful for each other would take care of. And on the other hand, that you felt as one of the older in the group – like you said, there are still children – pressure from above. I went to the heart: My daughter is getting to their limits, in order for something to stand up to the she believes. That was the point where, for me, it was clear that I must get involved as a parent.
a mix of, among other things, an open letter to the government of North Rhine-Westphalia in the discussion. In it, you have a real opportunity to take the Prime Minister of Armin, the education Minister Yvonne Gebauer and “all the political and economic authorities” in the responsibility. Only adults and parents do not speak explicitly. Created the climate crisis, you want to cope with, only by “up there”?
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school is antisocial and does not harm the children
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Schmitt-Weigand: no, not at all tails before the holidays. I will lead this discussion too often in the circle. I believe that we – the normal citizens – in the last years, only from the General Public. Some of the drive your car less, in order to make a small contribution, others can change the feel anyway. But the Problem is all too aware of that. This is a Situation unfortunately arose, which I think is fatal: the responsibility is blurred. Because responsible also those of the citizens in a greater responsibility to choose. These people, including the Prime Minister, Laschet, belongs to have a completely different responsibility than the ordinary citizen. To these people I can make other requirements, as to me, without me from the responsibility.
What is the request you make to the policy?
Stegh: For example, that finally the Paris climate agreement is to be adhered to.
But you will see that the climate protection – and demonstrate, ultimately, affects all of us. Not only politics and the economy. What you have to say to the citizens?
Schmitt-Weigand: We need to start to run together in the right direction. If we succeed, a comprehensive and wide discussion on the trail, we are on a good way. The children make it to us.
Stegh: We all need to understand that If we don’t act now, it will be too late.
Schmitt-Weigand: that’s The funny thing: The kids have the best arguments, the science is on your side. Only, unfortunately, not the politics, the economy, and large parts of the society.
the danger Is that the pupils experience a Failure?
Stegh: The children learn in school, why climate change is a threat to all of us. Now you need to remain in school, to do something against it.
Schmitt-Weigand: The climate protection takes place outside of school, no narrative. Now there may be this narrative that we need: “Fridays for Future”.
What are the plans and the wishes of “Parents for the Future” for the future?
Stegh: First of all, That we put ourselves behind our children. And by that I mean not only my children. I mean all children and young people around the world. We have to do it with a global theme.
Schmitt-Weigand: I agree with that. We want to stand behind the children and young people and support them. However, we want to get the parents generation on the road, and a societal discussion trigger, in the field of climate protection will not be displaced. The subject should be the guiding principle of political action, and must be in the interest of the young people and always be thinking. And not against other themes to be played out.
your goal is, in principle, to be superfluous – because climate protection are being implemented more vigorously. What do you think: when is this time?
Schmitt-Weigand: A difficult and, for me, an emotional question. There are always the moments where you ask yourself: What can we achieve? The danger is that the students – and we experience a Failure? A Failure? That would be very bad, especially when I think of my children.
Stegh: If we had no hope, that would be terrible.
Schmitt-Weigand: that’s Why we are motivated. I can give you a year, when it will be. This is very clear. But I can tell you that there is a Chance to make a difference. How much, we’ll see.
Stegh: We alone can not save the world’s climate. But we can perhaps ensure that the issue of global seriously. It is only our children are not aware of the fact that now something must happen – not in ten, 15 or 20 years ago.
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