A teachers’ union in a school in Hackney, East London, has announced its backing of a half day strike by students on Day X. Furthermore the local union will ask all its members to also come out with the students on the day a war begins.
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Teachers’ union in London school supports students’ walkout
A letter from the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) to Youth Against the War in Northern Ireland was read out a National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) meeting at one London school, in Hackney, on 18 March (see extracts below), which had a big influence in persuading teachers to support Day X actions. Along with the letter a message calling for support for strike action was read out from a school student member of International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Party member, who attends the school.
The result was the NUT voted to come out on the afternoon of Day X and march with the school students. Students and teachers will march to Hackney Town Hall for a noon rally and then on to the London central protest at Parliament. The school head teacher has therefore had no choice but to close the school for the afternoon.
By contrast, during the school strike called earlier this month throughout England and Wales, the students at the same school were locked in and unable to join the strike protests.
Irish teachers’ union letter to Youth Against War
Extracts from the letter from the INTO to Youth Against War in Northern Ireland
"At the Northern Conference of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), delegates opposed war in Iraq and consequent casualties amongst the Iraqi people, teachers and school children.
"Recently there have been protest demonstrations involving 6th form pupils in schools. INTO advises members to continue to exercise their professional judgements with respect to advising young people about participation in out of school demonstrations regarding a potential war in Iraq. INTO also advises members not to be party to any attempts designed to detain young people in school against their will. Cognisance needs to be paid to health, safety and welfare legislation of both teachers and pupils.
"The INTO is an affiliate of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions led Stop the War Coalition."