So it’s happening. I was always worried it might. That if we find it acceptable for people to send their children away, there would come a time when they would start making other people send their children away. If we say “its all about choice” then a time would come when there was no choice at all. I had thought it would be more to do with childcare, when Brent County council introduced measures for 24 hour childcare provision I was concerned that the situation would arise where people were forced to accept crappy zero hours contracts and night shifts and send their two-year-olds away round the clock. But it is a different group of children who are being told they must leave home when they don’t want to.
School closures in Shetland mean that a generation of children in certain communities are being told they must leave home at the age of twelve. They are being offered weekly boarding, something which pro-boarding school groups would have us believe is not a problem, but they have made an incredibly moving video to show why it definitely is a problem.
The children in the video hold up placards which give a powerful message not only as to why they should not have to go boarding school, but why nobody should. They want to go home for their tea. They will miss their parents, their pets, their little brothers and sisters. They will miss the events and the festivals they enjoy helping to organise, they will miss helping on farms, being connected to their land and the ways of life of those people who provide for them. Essentially what we see in the video is an understanding of what it is to be community, a deep sense of belonging. That terrifying concept to so many, that thing which is taken for granted if you have it and know it, impossible to even imagine if you don’t.
Please watch and share this lovely video made by Unst Action Group