Silence speaks volumes at Dagenham student protest

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 May 2015

Students from the Jo Richardson Community School in Castle Green Dagenham prepare for a sit in protest at the City Hall

Students from the Jo Richardson Community School in Castle Green Dagenham prepare for a sit in protest at the City Hall


Being silent will help students make their voices heard at a sit in protest at City Hall on Friday.

More than 120 pupils from Jo Richardson Community School in Dagenham will travel to central London to raise awareness of young people’s concerns about worldwide issues.

They will wear tshirts labelled with the causes they care about and hold aloft banners in an attempt to stop passers-by in their tracks.

The school’s Student Voice group was invited to hold a protest by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, after impressing him when they collected an award from him last year.

Students Abigail Hall and Niranjna Unni, both 14, have taken charge of the organisation of the protest which has attracted support from schools in Dorset, Kent, Leicester and Wales, who will be joining them on the day.

Kala Boller, the school’s student communication manager, said: “The students felt that their voices need to be heard, especially in an election year.

“They decided that a protest where they remained silent would bring more attention to how they feel and what they are protesting about and generally make much more of an impact.

“Often society thinks that teenagers don’t care but our students are very engaged in issues such as homophobia, women’s rights and mental health.”

The Gale Street school’s student voice scheme was praised as an example during a British Council conference in Pakistan last year.

Ms Boller added: “Our students are really developing communication and leadership skills which will help them with finding and succeeding in their chosen careers.

“They are a powerful force to be reckoned with and they inspire me.”

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