Socialist Worker

Barrow students walk out

Issue No. 2154

Hundreds of school students in Barrow staged mass walkouts on Monday of this week against a proposed academy in the town.

The students protested despite appalling intimidation by the local council.

At Parkview school, the director of children’s services told students that the council would immediately suspend all senior staff and take over the running of the school if their protest went ahead.

The headteacher told students in an assembly that the protest would not go ahead. But one student stood up and said that yes, it was going ahead.

A number of students stood up with her and hundreds marched down the corridor and out onto the playing fields.

They held banners reading, “Save our school and teachers” and “Be anti-academy”.

Parkview student Megan said, “They tried to talk us down to stop us from protesting. This is determination. If we didn’t come out it would have shown we had lost but we are going to win.”

Students in years 7, 8, 9 and 10 were involved in the protest. Some year 11 students, who had just sat exams, joined them. Around 100 parents and supporters cheered them on from outside the school fence.

Parkview, Thorncliffe and Alfred Barrow schools are due to be closed at the end of term and to be replaced by an academy – due to open in September.

Students at other schools were threatened with expulsion if they protested.

Despite this, over 50 students from Thorncliffe school staged a protest at the same time as the Parkview walkout.

Parkview students were planning a day of strike action on Tuesday of this week.

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Article information

Tue 2 Jun 2009, 18:21 BST
Issue No. 2154
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