Young People in Brighton Protesting Against the Murder of Children in Gaza had to Put Up With an Attack by their Own Headteacher Shelly Baker
It is remarkable how age does not confer wisdom. As Shelley Baker, Headteacher of Brighton’s Varndean School demonstrated, sometimes people immature with age.
I came down at about 10.30 to Jubilee Square in Brighton, where the Library is situated, to find about 200 school students sitting in a square listening to speakers talking about how children, 40% of Gaza’s population, had died in their thousands because of Israel’s genocidal attack.
These youngsters had taken half a day off school to express their solidarity with their compatriots in Gaza. The strike had been organised by, amongst other groups, Parents4Palestine.
You might think that any Headteacher worth their salt would have expressed their support and admiration for the courage and integrity of these young people. Unfortunately this was not the case.
In her Welcome and School Ethos Shelly Baker explains that
Varndean School is a place where all people matter…. A school where individuality is welcomed, celebrated and shared amongst our whole school community…. Student leadership, democracy and student voice are central to the way our school works. We believe that developing leadership skills in all students will help us nurture young adults who, in turn, will become respected, trusted and kind citizens.
Unfortunately these fine words were just that – words. As Neil Young wrote they are ‘words between the lines of age’. Meaningless interruptions of thought signifying nothing as is often the case with mission statements.
In her letter addressed toVarndean families Baker paid tribute to
‘young people’s involvement in democratic processes (but) we do not support students leaving school to strike
Perhaps someone should explain to Baker that striking is part of the democratic processes she refers to!
The rest of the letter went from dismal to dire to execrable. A school students strike to protest against the genocide of children in Gaza was turned into a ‘safeguarding’ issue. Who was to be safeguarded? Jewish and Israeli school students apparently. Baker wittered on:
We have been working hard in school to educate students in being sensitive to all students and understand how this impacts Jewish and Israeli students.
Shelley Baker - Head Teacher Varndean School
This is a classic example of anti-Palestinian racism. Whenever colonial violence is mentioned or referred to then immediately ‘anti-Semitism’ is brought up. As if that is what Jews now stand for. Israel is not a fucking Jew. It is an American sponsored Rottweiler in the Middle East. As Joe Biden put it, if Israel was not there it would have had to be invented. That is why the United States supports Israel, whatever it does, through thick and thin. Ctd....