GB News’ South West of England reporter, Jeff Moody, joined Pip Tomson and Christopher Hope on The Live Desk, to discuss the strike.
Pip started the conversation, asking: “A lot of people will be asking, how was this actually allowed?”
“I think the answer to that is it hasn't been allowed,” said Jeff. “Talking to a lot of the parents here today and the the children were of all ages. There was children from reception right up to sixth form.
“Well for the sixth formers, that's not a problem. They decided to walk out of their lesson earlier on today and they're perfectly entitled to do that. But obviously it's the the children of 16 or below where the issue lies.
“Many of the parents said to me, look, they hadn't actually asked permission. They just literally emailed the school this morning and said ‘My child isn't coming in today’. And they said they're not quite sure whether there'll be any repercussions from that, whether there might be some sanctions or even some fines. Parents can be fined quite heavily if their children miss school.”
“Also it's going to be a semi regular thing. I mean they were saying to me, ‘Well it's just one day’, but they did a demonstration here last week, today too and they're going to continue every Friday until there is a ceasefire. So this could be a long running thing.
Strike organiser China Fish explains why she set up the protest
According to Jeff, the children were invited to chant slogans, sing songs and make speeches, with one child being heard to say ‘From the River to the sea, Palestine shall be free’, widely regarded as an anti-Semitic chant.
Jeff continued: “It's questionable as to what the children knew and what the children believe because they were very young indeed, some of them. And they were chanting slogans from bits of cardboard that were presented to them.
Teachers from the school were present at the event alongside the students. Jeff spoke with China Fish, one of the main organisers of the event about what spurred her to carry out the strike.
“It's only one day,” said China. “We feel that this is a really pertinent time and really important time that we use our voices in any way we can.
The strike follows a turbulent month of protests across the UK after Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7th
“Now that almost 5,000 children have been killed by Israel since the 7th of October, as parents and children, we all feel so concerned that we need to help stop any more killings of children. So the focus today is all about children and saving children's lives.”
According to Jeff, China went on to say that the children are ‘very well informed’, that they are taught about the Middle East and their opinions are their own.
Pip and Christopher gave their final thoughts on the story, with Pip saying, “No matter what the subject matter, protesting on a school day, it just feels wrong”
Christopher agreed: “I mean, it started with the Greta Thunberg protests, and then it seemed that was OK because of the green future. But I think for that person there to say that's going to happen again every Friday, there's a lot of school time being missed!”