Contact: Gloria Allred
Statement of Caroline Wiederkehr:
The students at Dwyer Middle School NEED TO BE HEARD! We have a voice, and as of right now our voices are being silenced. The school board thinks its okay to put solar panels on our front lawn, even though it may violate the law for them to do so because our school has been declared a historic landmark because of its age and it appears that the school board has not followed all legal requirements for building on the site of an historic landmark.
We are pro solar. We just do not want the solar panels in this location on the grass in front of the school. Putting them in the grass where students hold their graduation and participate in P.E. is just not right.
Well today is a new day. I stand here in front of all of you saying that we will protest.
Many people, such as the police, board members, and school administrators, have tried to convince my fellow students not to protest. They threatened to arrest us, punish us, and have repeatedly ripped down and thrown away signs we have spent HOURS designing and putting up. This is wrong and we shouldn't have been treated this way.
WE HAVE A PLAN: We want Chevron, the company who is building the solar panels on the Dwyer Middle School front field, to stop construction and to locate them elsewhere on the school grounds. Chevron says that they care about the environment but we think they don't care. If they did care they would move the solar panels to a different location, the ice plant area, at the school, but they seem to refuse to do that or want to quote a price for moving the solar panels which many people in the community think is an excessive and ridiculously expensive price.
So I close my speech today asking, "Why does Chevron choose to hurt the students and our historic school?" "Don't they want to be kind neighbors to the Huntington Beach Community?" I guess the only one who can answer this question is Chevron.
I have a message for Chevron on behalf of many students in the Huntington Community: "We believe you don't care about the field, you don't care about being environmentally friendly. You care about yourselves and making money. That angers us so we are speaking up. If you continue building the solar panels on our field after everything we have been saying and doing that's just sad. I hope you take in everything I have said and realize that you have done us wrong! Does it really take hundreds of middle school students protesting to get a simple message across to you, Chevron?!"
WE HAVE A VOICE AND WILL BE HEARD.
I would like to give a special thanks to Gloria Allred for coming out here and supporting us thank you. I would also like to give recognition to my mom Annelle Wiederkehr, Kelly Cason, and Soccoro Hubbard, for giving all of us a direction to follow. Even though we the students put together most of the protest we would be nowhere without them.