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Using children for political purposes is wrong wrong wrong

Media Release
Dr Jamie Whyte
4 September 2014

Using children for political purposes is wrong wrong wrong

“ACT has come across a notice from the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) asking parents of primary school children to come to their day of action at their local MP’s office tomorrow at 7.30am.”

Comments on the internet from angry parents complain that they have been asked to dress their children as young as five in purple and take part in a political protest.

This is wrong. What primary school child understands what it is about? Should they be used as protest fodder in this way?

I call on all political leaders to condemn in the strongest terms the campaign by the Primary Teachers Union to use school children to participate in a political protest.

Parents are required by law to send their children to school to learn and not to be used in politics. Will the children of parents whose parents refuse to dress them in purple be discriminated against? Will the pupils dressed in purple be praised by their teachers?

Children are entitled to be children and not used as political pawns.

I call on the Labour Party that has close links with the union to publicly condemn this action, and ask the union to call off this protest.

ACT strongly suggests that parents complain to the Minister of Education, the Local School Board and to the NZEI. This is wrong.

ENDS

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