Another BBC News story about schoolkids walking out over war. To my mind, this is just nuts. Obviously university students can do what they like (although interestingly most people in Cambridge haven’t done any walking out), and I can just about see sixth formers being of sound mind to do it. But 11-16 year olds? Come on. They’d be walking out just as quickly to support a war providing that it got them out of school.

I will admit that there will be some kids who are well informed and are doing this for the right reasons, but they’re far outweighed by those who just want a day off. Schools should instead organise some debates or discussions on the war; they don’t even have to be during class time, maybe during lunch or free periods.

3 Replies to “Walkout”

  1. My sister and her friends (15) went on a demonstration on Saturday, and were told by their school that if any of them missed a day of school to go on a demonstration, then it would be an Unauthorised Absence and they would be repremanded. Quite what this would involve I don’t know.

    I don’t think the school making this kind of ‘threat’ is going to have any affect, if the kids really want to make a point.

  2. No, I don’t think the threat of punishment will stop students who passionately want to go out marching. But there are a few problems here:

    1) Since they are under 16, they are supposed to be in school. If they aren’t specifically allowed a day off, it strictly is truancy.

    2) I agree that there are some people who are marching for the right reasons. But there are a lot who are marching for the wrong reasons as well. I honestly don’t believe that 11 year olds should be out marching against a war they don’t understand (mind you, that goes for adults as well)

    3) Hundreds of thousands of adults marching against the war didn’t do anything; Parliament has given the go-ahead for war. Realistically, I don’t see a bunch of kids making any difference. Public protests very rarely work.

  3. I agree about protests not working, I’ve been arguing with my housemates about this fact for the past 3 days. There was going to be a protest here about tuition fees but it was cancelled out of respect for those going to war. One housemate wanted to go, but wanted us to go with her. I refused on the basis that it wasn’t going to make any difference at all whether or not the protest was held. I didn’t want to waste my time, that could be spent more productively.

    When the Government has made a decision, they will rarely listen to the public, and are unlikely to pay any attention at all. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. The only protest I’ve seen of any real substance recently is that of the Countryside Alliance.

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