Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1136/32599
The Socialist 2 June 2021 |
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York students protest to demand democratic control of schools
Protest in York, photo York Young Socialists (Click to enlarge)
York school student
On Wednesday 26 May, York Young Socialists organised a 30-strong protest campaigning for reformation of the school system. The protest in St. Helens Square called for the creation of a York school students' union, for sexual assault allegations in schools to be dealt with independently of school management using council safeguarding powers, to scrap school league tables, and to return academies to local authority control, with democratic oversight from students, parents and education workers.
There were numerous passionate speakers discussing not only the wider issues, but also some personal anecdotes of schools ignoring sexual assault cases.
A further speech was given by Lee on the issue of trans students and toilets in schools, including how trans students either have to walk to the other side of their school to use the only gender-neutral toilets or, in their words: "Share toilets with fully grown adults" by using staff toilets. They talked of the many issues trans people already face, and how these students are being marginalised.
If nothing is done about the points raised at the protest, the school system will continue to worsen, with further students experiencing sexual assault and the offenders being excused, unaccountable for their actions.
This protest was the first of its nature and has planted the flag for further campaigning on this issue. Now is the time to pressure the education system to adhere to these demands. We need democratically controlled schools to better handle problems such as sexual assault allegations. By creating a school students' union this can be changed and our voices can be heard, which is what York Young Socialists are planning as our next step.