The Pied Piper of Hamelin has come to Melbourne.
School children have taken over Melbourne CBD. Children as young as 11 (quite possibly even younger) have massed on Spring St to protest the Federal Government’s lack (or perceived) of action on Climate Change.
This march forms part of a broader protest that has been organised in cities across the nation, inspired by the actions of a teenage student in Sweden
According to The Age,
“Several thousand Victorian students marched out of the classroom and took to the streets of Melbourne on Friday to demand action on climate change.
With chants ranging from elaborate anti-Adani slogans to the more concise “do something, do something” and “ScoMo’s got to go!” students from private, public independent and both primary and high schools converged outside the Old Treasury building.
More than 200 students came from Castlemaine alone, where the nationwide strike started several weeks ago with just three students.
They marched down Collins Street and arrived to a rockstar’s welcome at Spring Street.”
Leaving aside the question, should children be praised for wagging school and participating on a protest march in the city, do we really think this is something mature adults should be encouraging? Do we really think that 11-year-old children understand what they are doing?
From the twitter chatter that I’ve read this afternoon, it’s difficult to discern whether this is an anti-Liberal Party protest or it is a ‘tackle climate change’ protest. Perhaps some would argue, what’s the distinction?
Of course, we are all amused by the clever and clean messaging that our future generation is communicating on the steps of power…
Before the silly accusation is thrown across this blog, I agree that climate change is a very important issue. I don’t deny that the earth is warming. I have spoken on and written on the issue since these kids were in nappies. I think awareness of these global issues does matter and should be taught in appropriate and constructive ways. But high-fiving a children’s protest march and during school time? Let’s be real, as a parent I’m aware that there are many issues which children feel passionate about. No doubt their enthusiasm is often pointed somewhere in the right direction, and other times it is not. As someone who has taught hundreds of children over the years, you can’t tell me that school children (especially aged 11-15) have an adequate understanding of the complex issues at hand, such that we can justify them taking the day off school, make political posters, and demand action on the environment where they have little to no understanding of the environmental, socio-economic repercussions .
Of course, the reason why this event is gaining so much attention in the media and is being applauded by various political pundits and social commentators is because the issue fits their social agenda. The strike and protest is ‘beautiful’ only because the kids are following the social script that progressives have written.
What if these children were protesting a different issue?
What if school students took the day off school to protest in support of religious freedom and for the rights of religious schools to employ staff who affirm the school’s ethos?
What if students went on strike and marched through the city to support life for the unborn?
What if kids wagged school in order to mass in the city and make a public stand for the right’s of children to have a mum and a dad?
I can guarantee the following responses:
First, the media would largely ignore the event and the public hear very little about it (as happens with annual pro-life marches).
Second, the same voices who are today praising the children would instead be accusing our school Principals and parents of being irresponsible. There would be calls for schools to be disciplined for allowing children out of class. The narrative wouldn’t be, ‘look at these fine examples of the future’ and ‘if only we would listen to these brave and intelligent children’. The narrative would be, ‘these children are impressionable and being led astray by conservative elements in the society,’ and ‘where are their parents and how can they use their children for political purposes’ and ‘today’s march only proves that we further change the education system so that our children aren’t susceptible to such extreme views’.
This is the hypocritical mindset of our culture, and we’re happy to use our kids as pawns so long as they march in tune with pied piper of “progressivism”.
One final comment, which is too irresistible to ignore. One protest sign read, “Science doesn’t care about your opinion”. Given the unscientific and detrimental approach to sex education that our children are now exposed to in schools, this was rather ironic and sad.