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An open letter to parents, teachers and governors

November 26, 2010

An open letter to parents, teachers and governors at local schools and sixth form colleges, whose pupils and students attended the demonstration on wednesday 24 November in Leeds

University of Leeds protest“We commend and applaud the determined, passionate and conscientious action of hundreds of your students, who took to the streets of Leeds alongside parents and beside the students and staff of Leeds Universities to protest peacefully against the removal of the EMA, the 80% cut to government Higher Education funding and the proposed rise in tuition fees to as much as £9000 per undergraduate year. These students of yours manifested the best of the qualities you might have promoted and nurtured in them: critical awareness, judgement, selflessness and an ability to balance threat of sanction against the need to support the causes of justice, equality and the right of access to further and higher education and self-improvement. We hope you are proud of their demonstration of determined protest and citizenship. We would ask that no individual be victimised, punished or otherwise punitively treated as a result of their admirable expression of social conscience.”

If you would like to add your name to this letter of support, please do so here: http://bit.ly/leedsfinest

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lucy Ellinson permalink
    November 29, 2010 12:40 AM

    Completely support and applaud everyone who took part in the protest. We need to call on the NUT to signal support to staff who want to walk out and stand with their pupils. http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/8159

    NUT leadership point black refused to do this at this weekends National conference organised by one of the anti cuts coalitions.

    Set an example NUT. Support your members, supporting their students.

  2. November 29, 2010 8:40 AM

    Thanks Lucy. It’s great to hear from such active former students. It must be ten years since you emptied a bath of yourself in the Banham theatre just yards from where today’s occupiers reside. Good memories of great provocative theatre.

    The NUT are currently stating “The NUT is not calling for school pupils to walk out of lessons and is advising members that they should not encourage pupils to leave their classes.” there will be the usual H&S behind this, and issues of teachers’ contractual obligations, as well as concern that individual or organised NUS members are not exposed or victimised. The legal ramifications aside, we hope that the NUT can go further than this and find a mode of supporting both members and students in the forthcoming walkouts from schools. We are in the middle of a historic movement, and history demands greater scrutiny of our obligations to the future generations. NUS leadership has now recognised that, and some MPs even are beginning to smell the coffee roasting in occupied university spaces.

    Solidarity.

  3. Shazzblasty permalink
    November 29, 2010 9:31 PM

    There seems to be something missing, something that states clearly that we want these people to do more than pledge against any student being “victimised, punished or otherwise punitively treated” – that needs to be said but aim high, invite these people to march alongside you – they all live in this country and deserve a better standard of living too.

    This wouldn’t have started without us and students are going to keep making protests but I want to see old ladies and people in suits getting angry at the police too – and I want to see everyone having as big a laugh as possible – we need as many friends, family, people from all different walks of life to come along – all are welcome – all have something to learn and something to teach – if we’re all the same then we’re only going to come up with the same ideas and if we’re going to get kettled there’s going to be alot of caged-in energy that needs burning off.

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