You’d expect the usual headbangers to be all in favour of brainwashing schoolkids and encouraging them to strike. What you might not expect is to find the National Association of Head Teachers supporting the action.
Next week is half-term for millions of pupils and, naturally, travel companies are hiking the cost of holidays to cash in. Take your children out of school early to beat the rip-off and you could be fined, or worse.
Punishments vary, from £60 minimum in England to up to £1,000 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The standard £60 penalty doubles if not paid with 28 days.
In 2016, according to the latest figures available, nearly 110,000 parents coughed up on time and another 15,800 were prosecuted for non-payment. In extreme cases, you could face a prison sentence.
The Supreme Court has ruled that parents do not have the right to remove their children from the classroom during term time without authorisation.
Schools will only grant permission in exceptional circumstances, such as illness, a family funeral or a religious day of observance.
Whether a strike in protest at climate change falls into the category of ‘exceptional circumstances’ is unclear, although it is undoubtedly a quasi-religious event.
But that is what’s happening on Friday. A mass walk-out by thousands of children is scheduled to take place in 40 towns and cities, including Cardiff, Glasgow, Exeter and Brighton. The strike is modelled on similar demonstrations elsewhere in Europe.
They are being egged on by the usual Rag, Tag and Bobtail army of self-styled, middle-class ‘green’ militants, including the 51-year-old son of Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren, who once burned £5 million worth of punk memorabilia during a protest about . . . actually, who cares what it was about?
Other ‘activists’ urging pupils to strike include a former turtle conservationist and 57-year-old fanatical Remain supporter, who is planning to set up soup kitchens to feed the starving after Brexit.
In other words, the same kind of lunatics who delight in bringing airports to a standstill with sit-down protests and shutting London bridges during rush hour.
You’d expect these headbangers to be all in favour of brainwashing schoolkids and encouraging them to strike. What you might not expect is to find the National Association of Head Teachers supporting the action.
Yet in a statement the association said the walk-out should be ‘applauded’. It went on: ‘A day of activity like this could be a valuable life experience.’
So could taking your kids on a safari holiday, or anywhere they might broaden their minds and sample different cultures. But if you try that during term time, you could end up with a criminal record.
Leaders of the 28,500-strong NAHT yesterday attempted to row back from endorsing the strike. But their initial reaction speaks volumes for the mentality of many of those charged with educating our children.
You can’t blame the kids for teachers filling their heads with politically motivated drivel.
I’m sure most of them would welcome any excuse to skip lessons for a few hours, especially if it can be dressed up as saving the polar bears.
But, in plain English, what this boils down to is adults encouraging impressionable children, some as young as nine, to play truant.
And if parents can be punished for taking children out of school, then why can’t those we entrust to act in loco parentis?
Maybe the courts could sequester the funds of the NAHT to pay a £60 penalty for each and every pupil who joins the walk-out. They did it to the print unions during the Wapping dispute.
Failing that, perhaps a group of parents could sue those middle-class militants for inciting their children to break the law — starting with Malcolm McLaren’s overgrown brat of a son’s attempt to create anarchy in the UK classrooms.