Last evening Christchurch saw a further example of exploitation of children when a "protest at everything" was organised with the Bridge Of Remembrance as the venue.
Targets included the reorganisation of schools in response to precipitous drops in student numbers following the quakes allied with natural demographics and as a second string, the proposed extension of having the functions of the regional Council continued under the governance of commissioners for another three years.
As a tactical ploy combining targets went some way to ensuring a crowd but even that was less than successful with only hundreds of souls participating. However the numbers were swolen by having children from schools included in the proposed reorganisation, attend after a day of learning their lines and preparing placards.
How many adults with an appreciation of the facts involved were there?
Did the actvists spend any time explaining the actual background reasons for what will appear to the pupils to be the most significant upheaval in their lives. Sadly I think not, the pupils emotions were toyed with in a manipulative effort at political protest. Seriously how many of you actually knew who the Minister of Education was when you were at school, sheesh how many of you knew who your MP was and that was without the faceless "listies" to complicate things, when attending primary/intermediate school.
I have already made my position on the temporary replacement of the disfunctional Ecan troughers but the response to the serious fallout for pupil numbers and the demographic/ geographic pressures at work is another matter.
Le Bons Bay School is a classic case of disfunction and waste as a principal, safely ensconced in a job for life, manipulated people who should have had more intelligence into maintaining a school with scant regard for the social, educational and economic reality that presented.
I would be very interested in the true cost per pupil incurred over the last decade of the roll that has been almost permanently rooted in single figures. "Le Bums" bay community has been seriously challenged by events including rural depopulation, lifestyle options, low cost housing opportunities and an opportunity for people to move there to avoid the more troublesome effects of welfare moves around employment.
Yes a school does become a focus for a community but times change and using children who are only discovering how to reason and process information to enable opinions to be formed in an employment preservation opportunity does not stack up with my basic philosophy of allowing kids to just be kids.