Student NIMBYism: Middle School Students Protesting Solar Installation At Their School
Students at Dwyer Middle School are making it clear they want a say in the $8 million project to put solar panels on the front lawn of their school.
More than 100 students hit the pavement Wednesday morning outside the historic middle school to protest the installation of the Chevron Energy Solutions solar array project slated for five Huntington Beach City District schools.
Their beef? They don’t like where the solar panels will be placed:
Student Jasmine Mayr, 13, said the grassy area in front of the school is where the Dwyer kids run the mile for P.E. class and play during lunch time. It’s also where graduation is held for the eighth graders.
“We don’t think we need the solar panels,” Jasmine said. “We think we could use the money for something else, like a gym. We don’t have a gym so we can never have any home games here.”
Now, just to make it clear, it’s not Chevron that is insisting on putting the solar panels on the lawn… it’s the school district.
School board members in January approved the location of two carport-like solar structures. Dwyer is one of five schools in the district to get the panels: Hawes, Sowers, Smith and Seacliff are also taking part in the green project. District officials reported there will be a minimum of $1.9 million in savings over the next 25 years.
Alternate positions were considered, such as the usual rooftop placement, but shot down, again, by the district, not by Chevron.
“I think if they’re going to put the panels up… they should put them on the roof of the school,” said student Mary Sayegh, 13.
A rooftop location was considered by the district, but was not financially possible, officials said.
Parents pushed for a different location on school grounds but the district report says moving the panels could cost up to $250,000, which would have to come out of the school’s budget in the midst of tough financial times.
But who are the kids protesting?
That’s right… they’re complaining that Chevron, that evil oil company, is helping their school district save millions of dollars in energy costs!
NIMBYism at its finest. Sure, put up solar, just not where it will inconvenience me!