Look what happened in my home state today:
Kids from a local Christian school protesting against a bill that increases rights to abortion. Kids. School children. Protesting abortion. Please tell me this is a joke.
These are primary school kids. They probably don’t even know where babies come from yet!! How on earth could they possibly understand an issue as complex and sensitive as abortion??
It seems pretty clear that these kids are being exploited by their parents and their school. If my own experience of a Christian school is anything to go by, they wouldn’t have heard the other side of the abortion argument. They won’t have had the chance to develop an informed opinion on the subject. They’re children for goodness sake!! My own experience of abortion education in a Christian school went something like this: ABORTION IS WRONG. ABORTION IS MURDER. NO OTHER VIEW IS ACCEPTABLE. It would be very difficult for a primary school child to resist the comprehensive brainwashing Christian schools put them through on this topic.This is something that makes me very sad and I hope they are able to think about this issue more critically in the future.
I’ve been told that the kids weren’t forced to participate, but honestly, what nine year old is going to stand against their teachers, school, parents and peers? What nine year old is going to disagree with them on an issue they’re so passionate about? What nine year old is going to opt to stay in class when they could be outside with their friends at Parliament House? And if a child did do this, imagine the social exclusion they would experience from then on. Children should be playing and frolicking and learning! Not participating in complex moral and political debate. Also, the fact that these kids are at a private Christian school suggests that they’ve probably had a reasonably financially secure upbringing and a mum and dad there to look after them. They would not know much at all about the plight of the pregnant, income-less, single teenage girl (for example) and yet they feel that they can tell her what to do with her own body and her own future. It’s just not right, and it’s not their fault.
However, I do recognise that children have a right to protest and participate in democracy, but surely it’s not right for them to get involved in an issue like this. At least not until they have had a well rounded sex education.
Schools are meant to be about helping kids to think critically and independently. They should be about showing them different view points and letting them evaluate them. They should not be about this. Not at all.