Arrest Threat For Protesting Pupils
Chiswick Community School students warned off marching to Conservative party offices
Chiswick Community School students were reportedly told they would be arrested if they attempted to protest outside Conservative Party Offices on Chiswick High Road according to one parent.
The planned walkout was for 10.30 on Tuesday 30th November. The students were to leave the main gates of Chiswick Community School, travel to the Chiswick High Road where they would congregate with other local students outside Sainsbury’s in Chiswick before marching to the Conservative offices in Gunnersbury.
Evidently the students' plan were halted as there was no presence at either location this morning.
Kate Pullinger Tweeted "My 14yr olds crowd of student protesters in Chiswick were told they would be arrested if they tried to protest outside Conservative Party HQ."
"We understand the concerns of students and the right to protest. We do not approve of them missing school to do so," Chiswick Community School's Deputy Head James Whiting told ChiswickW4.com after last Thursday's protest. "With such large numbers wanting to participate we decided a confrontation with the students was not in the interests of the school. Sixth Form students have passes to our gates and it was not possible to stop other students at break leaving with them who were determined to do so. We received phone calls from parents too asking that their son or daughter could attend.
"We prevented younger students from going and took the names of all students who left the site. Parents were informed where possible by phone and students were told that parents would have to give permission or the absence would be followed up."
MP Mary Macleod said: "I certainly appreciate the concerns that the students have and I am very aware of the strength of feeling on this issue. Unfortunately due to the difficult economic climate we have to make some difficult economic decisions and this is one of them.
"I am certainly in favour of proposals that support lower-income students, widen participation, and increase opportunities for all who choose to pursue Higher Education opportunities. As a result I welcome the commitment that there should be no upfront tuition fees for students. In my opinion this would hit families from lower economic backgrounds and would deter many from entering into the Higher Education sector.
"I feel that the Government is making positive steps to attract students from lower-income backgrounds with the proposals it has put forward such as an increase in the maintenance grants available. It is my firm belief that Higher Education opportunities should be available to all those that seek it.”
November 30, 2010