Exposing Children to Politics?!

I’m not sure why I’m writing this at this time of night…. My usual rule is no in depth typing after 11 but it’s happening.

Lets dive straight in….

One thing I’ve learnt being at uni is that a lot of students, and staff members are very open with their political views. I could probably point to every lecturer I’ve had and stand a 95% chance of who they voted for in the last election.

I am in no way implying that political views are being forced on me at all, quite the opposite in fact discussions are very open and welcoming. It’s a hard subject to study and teach without an element of political view showing especially with Brexit related news around every corner.

By now I’m sure a few of you have seen the video circling of a young boy from Huddersfield appearing to choke and attempt to what I can only describe as “waterboard” a fellow student, whilst in uniform, potentially on school grounds.

The alleged reasoning behind this video is blurry, I’ve seen claims that the labelled “bully” was defending his sister, however the main reasoning that has come out of this is that this was a racially motivated attack due to the alleged “victim” being Syrian. I want to stress at this point I don’t know the hard Facts of what has happened I’m not going to pretend I do I’m simply commenting on what I’ve seen, do not take my words as gospel, in fact never take anyone’s words as gospel, form your own opinion on things ( with facts to support you of course)!

Within a very short space of time the magic of social media managed to pull up the alleged bullies name, social media pages, address, the school he attends, his family members and his friends. I am not going to name any of those on here, I quite frankly don’t agree with any type of witch hunt especially on children, I’m sure a few of you may do your own research and be able to form your own opinions on this individual.

Of course, I’ve had a look at this boys Facebook page (bit nosey what can I say). The comments that have been left on the most recent public post are quite frankly disgusting and will gain absolutely nothing apart from the need for the police to intervene and protect this boy from the MULTIPLE threats and abhorrent abuse. I am not defending this boy at all nor am I saying people are wrong to want to vent emotion due to this footage (quite frankly it broke my heart watching the footage) but posting comments such as “Die in hell bastard I’m going to shag your mum so hard” and “stupid little cunt. Can’t wait for you to have your fukin head kicked in” and sooooo much more (I mean over 2000 comments) I’m not 100% sure what this will achieve.

What has hit me most out of this entire situation (aside from the obvious) is that it’s shocking how exposed younger generations are to politics. I don’t mean they’re forced to sit, and watch parliament TV live (more sense comes from Secret life of kids show on channel 4) but the views they are exposed to on social media, mainly extreme ones, mainly warped stories and falsified footage from both extreme right and extreme left supporters (I’m an extreme ice cream eater…. that’s about it).

Human minds to me are like big sponges we can soak up so much and actually do so many wonderful things with the knowledge we gain, but our susceptibility to people that sound as though they know what they are talking about, or in fact tell us what we want to hear can be dangerous.

If we pull it right back to when we are children we do as our parents say, we believe what are teachers tell us, we adapt and form our personalities, our views and our Morales around those that we look up to and admire. Nowadays its so easy to admire someone on a screen and take their words as gospel on situations that truthfully you know nothing about, as soon as something complex is worded in a simplistic (and usually inaccurate way) we believe it, without thinking twice.

The Facebook of the young boy in question has clear links to some extreme views, just looking at these posts he has shared and supported made me think, you’re a child why are you being exposed to this? why are you arguing things you can’t yet understand? I’m not implying a lack of intelligence on this boys’ part at all nor am I trying to reduce any credibility or accuracy of these posts (save that for another day) this is more something I deem highly inappropriate for someone of school age that is not even old enough to vote, to be forming such strong views on.

Children should be taught more about politics, and how their country is ran as it is their futures that the decisions of these elected bodies and us as voters are impacting, however I will never agree with the exposure of any form of extremism to children, whether left or right, yes both exist but only one really looks interesting on the front page of the daily mail!! Shouldn’t kids be allowed to just be that…..KIDS?! That’s not even slightly a choice in some countries around the world, surely it should be a cherished opportunity here!

I am sure if you have not yet seen the video or read the story it will pop up on your timelines soon, I hope you won’t reduce yourselves to writing threatening messages over Facebook but quite frankly that’s none of my business *insert sipping Kermit here*. There’s so much better you can do with your time and we all have an incredible amount of power to make a change in the world!


*please don’t forget to help your local charities especially this time of year*

group of children walking near body of water silhouette photography
Photo by ajay bhargav GUDURU on Pexels.com

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