The police are not the only ones who use repressive measures against anti-cuts protests. Many school and college managements have used harsh discipline to punish, victimise and intimidate students who organise and participate in walkouts. In some cases, management have locked students inside the school building to prevent them walking out. We must not tolerate this!
We need to organise against these victimisations! Organise a petition among teachers and staff – get staff and teaching trade unions in your area to help you. Ask teachers to mark all students present on walkout days to prevent loss of EMA. Organise collections to support those most in need if they lose EMA through protesting. If anyone is disciplined or suspended – protest! Organise a petition, or a demonstration outside management’s offices. Put public pressure on the head to withdraw the punishment. An injury to one is an injury to all. The expulsion of one student should be everyone’s business – if you let management get away with it, you could be next!
If anyone in your campaign is being victimised by your school or college management for taking part in walkouts and protests, contact the Right to Resist campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you fight against victimisations.
Students in the North East have organised an online petition on facebook in advance of the walkout on January 26, warning college managements not to punish protesters. Why not do the same?
See the facebook group here:
The text of their petition:
Open letter from Students Against Cuts to our headteachers:
Students Against Cuts have organised a walkout on Wednesday 26th January. In the past, some of our schools have tried to stop students and staff from attending and have punished those who took part. This will not be the case this time around. We refuse to be stopped from exercising our democratic right to protest.
We are protesting to save our education and defend our fut…ure. As the organisation that is supposedly educating us and preparing us for this future it is extremely hypocritical of you to oppose your defence against these cuts.
We have received a huge amount of support from many organisations and members of the public. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) have said teachers should not be preventing students from attending the walkout protests.
We demand that all students be allowed to walkout and that they will not be punished for doing something that they should be praised for. If you attempt to discipline us for taking part in the walkout we will refuse to accept the punishments. We will stand together and defend our right to protest, taking whatever action is necessary to prevent the victimisation of anyone who took part. All for one and one for all!