Here Are The Kids In The Climate Change Lawsuit
One of these kids is being ostracized by families of friends because of his involvement in the lawsuit.
RAYNE, Louisiana—As far back as Jayden Foytlin can remember, her cousin Madison came over to celebrate her birthday. The girls had been best friends since they were toddlers and spent nearly every weekend together, playing video games and basketball in their driveways.
This year, things were different. In the weeks before Jayden's 14th birthday, Madison's mother stopped arranging get-togethers. She didn't answer texts inviting Madison to Jayden's birthday party. "We thought that maybe she was out of town with her family," Jayden said. "Or I thought that maybe Madison had a sleepover the same day as my birthday."
The text that cleared matters up came on the afternoon of Jayden's birthday, as she and her family piled into their hybrid SUV to go roller skating. Madison's mother wrote that her daughter wasn't allowed to see Jayden anymore. She was keeping Madison away because Jayden is one of 21 young plaintiffs suing the federal government over its alleged failure to curtail fossil fuel development and address climate change.[....]
Jayden has a half-brother who is black. So when a boy in her online history class said slavery in the United States was necessary and humane, she called him a white supremacist and got in trouble with teachers. When her science teacher asked for causes of Louisiana's coastal land loss, Jayden cited the oil and gas industry's activities and promptly got pushback from the Louisiana-based instructor.[....]
Jayden's closest friends now are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "I didn't expect this. I didn't expect to fit in with the group because I've always been so different from everyone else around me," Jayden said in her purple-and-white bedroom, the first room renovated after the August flood. "But I fit right in, like a puzzle piece."
In late April, Cherri, Erin and Jayden flew to Washington, D.C., to attend the People's Climate March. They and other Juliana plaintiffs rented a house together. After dropping off their luggage, the kids collapsed into a group hug.
The four days Jayden and her fellow plaintiffs spent in Washington were a swirl of activity. They spent one morning holding a press conference about the case, accompanied by high-level supporters, including Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
Erin introduced herself and explained that Louisiana's governor had declared a state of emergency due to coastal land-loss as Jayden held up the Bayou sign.
Jayden then approached the microphone. She said: "Last August, we woke up to half a foot of water streaming down our house due to climate change and the loss of the wetlands. This is why I'm part of Our Children's Trust and the lawsuit against the government for inaction on climate change."
The crowd interrupted her with applause at the mention of the lawsuit and a man in the crowd yelled, "Thank you, Jayden." She smiled, looking relieved, and later off stage, posed for pictures.
The sisters then joined the Our Children's Trust plaintiffs and more than 200,000 other protesters at the Climate March. As they walked in the record heat from the Capitol to the White House, Jayden and two young plaintiff friends, Jaime Butler and Aji Piper, held a large white banner with a message for President Trump and the fossil fuel industry: "See you in court."