Small ads

Calder High Peace Protest

Posted by atodd,
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The actions of certain students at Calder High School today were a serious risk to the health and safety of the whole school. The genuine protesters had been offered the chance to make thier voices heard before afternoon school began; it was wholly unacceptable to let off the fire alarm twice during the course of the afternoon. Additionally, the scenes on the front field were not quite as cosy as the photographs portray. many children found themselves in an alarming crush and were distressed by this situation.

Posted by Sean Myers,
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I was there in the crowd,and the teachers did nothing but shout refusing to listen. They also refused to let anyone to join the protest, many had to sneek in. All in all it was a great success which we plan to repeat.

P.S: Thank you very much for the publicity

Posted by Elaine Connell,
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I arrived at Calder High at 1.30pm this afternoon to photograph the students' anti-war demonstration. I stayed until the protest ended at 3 o'clock. The children who participated were a credit to the school. What I saw was a group of good humoured, well behaved young people, sitting, singing, forming circles and chanting peace slogans. Indeed at one point many of the children involved collected a large quantity of litter from the field, depositing it in a litter bin.

I am very proud of the young people of the Calder Valley who decided to make their contribution to the worldwide movement to try to avert an unjust war.

Posted by Gwen Goddard,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Appalled at David Scott's action.

Find it hard to believe he could have acted in such an unenlightened way.

Are schools there to negate an interest in the political life of this country?

Does he want a school populated by sheep?

I would like, on behalf of my grandchildren, about to attend Calder High, to register my strongest possible protest at the exclusion of pupils for what I hold to be an entirely laudable action - that of drawing attention to the iniquity of this government in pursuing unjustified military action..

Posted by atodd,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Would Ms Connell be equally happy for a pro-war protest to disrupt the education of the students? Or does the right to free speech only apply to those who support her point of view? Schools should remain politically neutral and balanced; the place for protest is outside lesson time. She may also be interested to learn that students are being encouraged to air all their views in an educational environment within lessons.

Posted by Daniel,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

"She may also be interested to learn that students are being encouraged to air all their views in an educational environment within lessons."

Well, I am a student, and I havent ever heaerd of that!

Posted by Katie,

Wednesday, March 19, 2003 13 people were suspended and loads of people (me including) were given heads detentions. alll the teachers keep saying how we have to accept responsability well i am, i know that i shouldn't really have been out there but for me it seemed like a good way to get my point made you cant punish students for having an opinion i am only 13 i cant really make a difference on my own every one played there part so everyone should be punished equally,or would that look bad on the school record if 150 people god suspended?

Posted by Mary,

Wednesday, March 19, 2003 The teachers at calder high are punishing only a few individuals,we were all 'in the wrong' as they put it but I think we were in the right and im so glad I took part in the peace protest because evan though what we did wont make tony blair look twice on going to war I feel i've made my views known in the only way i can.I will support other protests because i think if we dont then those who rule can do what they want without being challenged.I dont think any good will come of war! ps:protest tomorrow 12.00 noon in Calder Holmes park! pps: I disagree Mrs Todd the only people who spoilt the peace protest were those who didnt understand the protest!

Posted by Trisha Merrington 9xa,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Hey, I know I wasnt at school on Tuesday but I feel strongly about the protest from what I have heard from friends/family who attend Calder High School the teachers reactions were appalling. In my opinion if the teachers had just left it, it wouldnt have been that big a deal and students would one bye one go back to there lessons.

Posted by Jemima Martin,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I am a year 9 student.I was not able to attend the protest as I had already commited myself to perform in an A level play, although given the chance I would have been involved. I feel very strongly against the students suspension, so strongly in fact,I put posters up (that I had made myself) around the school, which were promptly taken down my members of staff. Is it against school rules to put up posters? The posters were inoffensieve and simply stated why we were protesting and my (and i'm sure many other students') opinion. It would be harsh to compare Calder High School to a dictatorship but surely the school should be encouraging freedom of speech and independent thought. Are the school also aware that by locking children in classrooms whilst making a decision is putting children in danger and also breaking several fire regulations? Do you suspend students for truanting 2 lessons? No, and in this case the only crime (according to school rules) the protesters have committed is that of truancy.

Posted by Lisa Ansell,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I just heard about the protest at Calder High, and I think all the students involved should be proud of themselves. Calder high should be encouraging their students to develop a social conscience, and if the only way to get their voices heard is to protest then so be it! Well done to all involved, and to those students who were suspended, there are people behind you, you should be proud, and the school should be ashamed of the way they have treated you, and the message it sends out!!!!

Posted by Andy Sinclair,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I must say I found it hard to believe when I heard that school students had been suspended for taking part in an anti war demonstration. Only when I read it for myself in the Courier did I believe that this had in fact happened.

Regardless of one's view on the rights or wrongs of the war in Iraq this is a fundamental point about freedom of political expression. Even if it is true, as alleged, that one irresponsible person set off the school fire alarm, then this does not warrant the collective punishment inflicted on the 13 organisers of this peaceful demonstration. Perhaps the person responsible for this decision should go away and read the Human Rights Act - Right to freedom of expression Art.10 ECHR and the Right to freedom of assembly Art. 11 etc. After all isn't this what the war we're engaged in is supposedly about - freedom of speech and democracy?

Like many people in Calderdale my wife and I have just received our council tax bill and although we realise that the overwhelming majority of teachers are hardworking and thoughtful professionals we're not especially impressed by the thought that we are indirectly paying the salary of someone so politically inept as to have made a decision as short-sighted, petty and divisive as this. The 13 pupils concerned should be readmitted at once and should receive an apology.

Posted by Year 11 Calder High school student,
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Mrs A Todd said, "the scenes on the front field were not quite as cosy as the photographs portray. many children found themselves in an alarming crush and were distressed by this situation."

As being at the protest I can say that noone was hurt, and the pictures show what the protest was like for most of the afternoon. There were points yes where we were sat in a group but we did not pose a threat to anyone or each other as we were there united in our views and protesting about peace for the civilians in Iraq and that 'our boys' as the press put it live to see their next birthdays! I'm sorry Mrs Todd but I dont remember seeing you out on the front drive that day.

P.S. Is it just me or is Mr Bush and Mr Blair about to get thousands of young men and women killed even with out taking in the public's view? Is this country a democracy or a dictatorship?

Posted by Sara Clyndes,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I was in the protest and even after being taken out by teachers i managed to get back in, we were doing the right thing. It was very peaceful.

P.S. Thanks for everyones support and the publicity. And respect to Will, Spike, Abi and Morgan.

Posted by Ruth Holtom,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I was involved in the peace protest and the thrill of it all was magnificent. I really believe that, by doing this, I have had my point heard and I disagree with the way the staff at Calder High reacted to our peaceful protest. Shouldn't having passionate opinions on such an important subject be something to be proud of? not frowned upon, like the event on tuesday was. We sang songs and chanted words of peace. There was no violence, and I think the way the teachers described the occasion was over exaggerated. I have no regrets.

Posted by Beth 8xc,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I was on the peace protest, and I totally agree with Mary. We may not have reached Tony Blair, but at least now I feel I've put my point across. It was out of order for Mr Scott to suspend pupils for doing what they thought was right. I would have happily organised a peace protest, and I didn't get suspended. NO WAR!!!!

Posted by Katie Hyatt,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

Mary is right. Mr Blair won't have heard anything about it but hey, they should realise that peace is a lot harder to work for than war. An eye for an eye leaves us all blind.

The easiest way is not always the right one. Have human beings learnt nothing within the last hundred years? What many people seem to forget is that hundreds of thousands of innocent people are gonna die and getting our views across is important to me.

I took part in both protests, the one today and the one at school. I have no regrets. I am glad I have participated in them and any other protests I will support to the best of my ability.

It isn't just teachers who seem to be against that sort of thing. My own parents disagree with me trying to protest against them. I was dragged out of the one in Hebden by own mother and she warned me never to do anything like that again. My own mother not respecting and encouraging my point of view.

Posted by Daniel Ansell 9XL,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I've just had 'RS' with the headteacher at my school (Calder High), and we've been talking about the war!

I am still appaled about the school suspending 13 students, and giving over 100 people after school detentions.

On the protest, we tried to get back into school, to go to the toilet. However, the doors were locked. Surely this cannot happen, as students need to be able to get in and out of the building, for health and safety reasons, along with fire issues.

I watched the TV last night, and am very please about what it said!

I feel that the school need to offer more support during these times, as some students will have family who are fighting, and we have muslims in our school, who will feel very angry. These feelings need to be expressed, and seen as inportant.

I have asked Mr Scott to come on these forums, to report on the issue, as it seems Mrs Todd is posting, and isn't actually saying what happened!

I hope that these students who were wrongfully suspended take further action with the LEA, and other people like the press

Posted by Tim,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

Just like to say I've nothing against folk getting their point of view across, and protesting is often a good way of doing that. However I have to disagree with slating Dave Scott and his colleagues, something which blackens the whole affair. He has a legal obligation to ensure students' safety at all times, and to ensure that they receive the education they deserve and have a right to. A peaceful protest doesn't involve hurling abuse at teachers, and isn't it funny how you all got up and left at 3.00 pm - the same time lessons end for the day. So next time maybe try and get your views across more efficiently, and give Dave Scott a rest. He's only trying to do his job.

Posted by Alice,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I took part in the protest on thursday at Hebden Bridge but didnt take part in the one at my school which I do regret. The reason for going on the protest was to get our point across that Blair and Bush are complete idiots! And war is not the answer.

Some adults (especially teachers) seem to think that because we are children we cant express our views as strongly as they can but from the reacent protests they were obviously proved wrong(ha ha!). I mean c'mon teachers even the police said that we were well behaved so don't you think the way you acted by suspending those students was out of order and that you over reacted just a bit(sorry, i mean a lot!).

I have also heard (whether its true I don't know) that some of my friends that were out on the field on tuesday caused a riot inside but how were they supposeed to manage that when they were out on the field? Now over-reacting is one thing but making up lies just as an excuse to shout more is another.

Teachers have been teaching us that we as children should try and speak out more and then when we finally do you suspend people for it. Are you crazy! I feel good now I know that we have got our point across to the public.

p.s.good on ya all you organisers, you were brill!

Posted by Anne,
Thursday, March 20, 2003

The staff at Calder High School have succeeded in making martyrs out of the 13 pupils who were suspended. They have become local heroes! It's good to see that so many young people care so strongly about peace and that they have used their imagination in expressing it. I've never organised a protest myself, but I should have thought that it will only be effective if you conduct it when and where it will have the most impact, and in this respect the protest during school time was much more effective than the one that took place today (for which children were 'allowed' to have the day off school). I hope the 13 pupils can get back to school as soon as possible to resume their studies - and keep the rest of the school on their toes!

Posted by Trish,

Like everyone I think that war is mega stupid but think about it... What are a few kids going to be able to do anyways? I do agree with the protest but we could have done it in our own time. I do understand why the teachers got annoyed but I still think its stupid for them to give after schools. I think if you wanted Blair and Bush to know what the people are thinking you should get more recognised.

All my love and support to all those suspended

Posted by Lindsey,
Friday, March 21, 2003

I am totally opposed to this war and am glad to see a generation of young people emerging who are aware of the issues involved.(Despite the handicap of having been Thatcher's children for too many years!) However I think it's unfair to use School as the forum for the protests as it puts staff in a very compromised position with parents, the LEA, and the wider community. There are many places in which opposition to the war can be demonstrated so why can't the youth of Calderdale be encouraged instead to hold their own demo without creating conflict which may devalue the whole argument?

Posted by John Taylor,
Friday, March 21, 2003

It is refreshing, as I am an older person, to see that the rumours are not true that Thatcher's children have no political awreness. I applaud their capacity to protest and I was happy to see so many of the young people of our community joining in the protests against this appalling war.

However I was equally appalled to see the reaction of some parents to involve the national press and local television in a crusade about "my child's unfair suspension". There is a danger that the press will seize on such a story for the sake of a headline and thus debase the efforts of the few people who have been standing outside in the cold and the rain for the last few months to stop this war.

Dealing with the press requires a very long spoon - all they want is today's headline. Let's keep our eyes on the prize, stop slagging off Mr Scott,a man who is trying to do a very diificult job, in very trying circumstances and get on with the job in hand.

I say to those parents whose son's or daughter's have had a short suspension or detention that that is a badge of honour not an excuse to whinge to the media and detract from the real issue. Wake up and smell the roses.

Posted by Katie Hyatt,
Friday, March 21, 2003

I agree partly with what Jemima is saying, the school should encourage freedom of speech and independent thought or are we going to be raised in a school full of lemmings? As far as I know no students were hurt during the protest anyway so there ya go. At the after schoool head's detention we were given (if we wanted ) peices of paper to write down our views on whats happened. I wrote similar to what I have written on here.

Posted by Kevin Stannard,
Friday, March 21, 2003

What on earth is so bad in young people with the courage to challenge the murderous madness of this governments drive to war?

Is their head teacher trying to teach an inquiring mind, or blind obedience? Well done the young people for taking a stand.

Posted by Burke,
Friday, March 21, 2003

I think this war stuff is all caused by a bunch of greedy B**tards who have an appetite for oil. this war is all about oil, nothing else and Blair won't even listen to the people in this country. okay some want to go to war, some more than others but there is still a majority of peeps who are regarded as hippie B**tards and socialising scum.I think this is unacceptable the way they are being treated! didn't we all fight for freedom to speak? and i also think that the guys and gals who were excluded from school i.e. morgan, abi, will and spike and others were treated wrongly and should be brought back to school and if not everybody who was involved in the protest should be excluded, we all agreed to the consequences by entering the protest.

Posted by Joe,
Friday, March 21, 2003

I would like to say I greatly respect everyone who managed to stay to the end. I was dragged out half way through. I am appalled at the way the school handled it and accusing people of trying to avoid lessons and why would people risk getting a detention or suspension just to miss a couple of lessons?

I thought the suspension of the organisers was stupid if anyone should be suspended it should be the people throwing stones and other objects into the crowd. The school continuosly says how many people would go in their own time when virtually everyone there was at the peace vigil in Hebden Bridge on Thurday.

Posted by Andrew Booth,
Friday, March 21, 2003

I was in the protest at School on Tuesday and find it hard to understand how teachers can say that we were "a danger to other students health and safety", as all we did was sat, sung, chanted and tried to get our voices heard.

I also think that what other messages say is wrong: by doing this protest at school, and getting the amount of publicity we've had for it, in my view, will urge other people to think twice, as It did in school. So it was worthwhile, and I think there might be a few more Anti-war supporters now.

The FIRE ALARM was set off by students who wanted to come and 'see us', whoever it was, probably doesnt understand 'the war' at all, and it is not at all fair to try and pass that blame onto us.

I believe that the case for suspension of 13 pupils was not anywhere near strong enough, and should never have happened.

Anyway, whats wrong with protesting to get our views across??? Yes we truanted, and we know we should take blame for that. But everyone played equal parts.

The Government say that Sadaam is a dictator, and there is no room for dictators in todays world, well, (no disrespect!) but what are the teachers then- apart from over- exaggeraters? Point made! i'll leave the rest for you to work out! or I might done for speaking my mind!!!!

Well done to the organisers, and to everyone who joined in. Maybe next time, more people!

Posted by Alison Dale,
Saturday, March 22, 2003

What a marvellous example of putting the new citizenship curriculum into practice. The children of Calder High demonstrated an adept and articulate interpretation of the citizenship mandate to become more socially aware of this country's political and social system.

The organisers also exhibited leadership, management and organisational skills. In masterminding a peaceful demonstration, and getting the weather right for their protest, its leaders showed a masterful touch in putting the skills they have learned in Geography to excellent use.

The fact that they are aware of the historical significance of current events, adequately demonstrates a truly wonderful grasp of their History teachers obviously stunning teaching.

In ensuring that the correct number of bodies required to make the SMT quiver with anger, they fulfilled the mandates of the Maths and Science departments with one masterful blow.

No doubt their communication skills were precisely honed in the English department, and I'm sure that a heart warming rendition of 'We Shall Overcome' was warbled in perfect pitch, thus raising the profile of the Music department to a totally new level.

Design & Technology must be extremely proud of the engineering and design which went into the 'Stuff Blair' banners, and I can hear the gurgling sniffles of an extremely proud Art department at the swags and flourishes on the banner's message.

Finally, as an RE teacher, I am personally proud that the school's RE department has had the good sense to not skirt around the important issues of the day, but has blindingly, obviously, instilled in this group of young people a sense of spiritual worth and an appreciation of ethnic minorities and the freedom to express their beliefs without having several thousand tons of high explosive strategically rammed down their throats.

Obviously, the Head is jealous of the success of his prodigious talent and is probably twisting his unclipped toes in his fluffy slippers even as we speak - and who said the youth of today were dull!

Posted by Daniel Ansell 9XL,
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Well, it's a while after the protest now, and I think that everyone will think twice about protesting within school time again, as they made such a ridiculous fuss over nothing.

The school seem to be weird over it. Me and some other people were putting some posters up around school, saying about the war, and not suspending students who stand for peace, and I got into trouble for it! She also commented on those students who were suspended for the protest, saying something like, we need to forget about that, and move on, and that the people who were suspended accept that they were in the wrong (Or something along those grounds).

Obviously / hopefully it seems that the teachers aren't proud of there poor and stupid decisions!

Well, personally, I feel that this war is stupid, and the best thing the school can offer, is some rubbish things to goto in your lunch time. I don't mind giving up my lunch time, because I am a stronge believer that this isn't a war we should be fighting, I'd just the school to actually have a bit on understanding. The best thing they could offer is writing to your MP, and let's face it, our's ain't gonna do much is she?

See also:

HebWeb News: Peace in the Park demo

Hebweb News: 13 Calder High students suspended over peace protest