Kirill's bravery and the DfE

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

A tribute today to the 12-year old Russian schoolboy [Kirill] who challenged his teacher's statement that the war in Ukraine was necessary to halt Kyiv’s aggression.  He argued with her when she said that Ukraine was a Nazi state and that it had started the war.  The Times reports that the police went to the family’s flat while his mother was at work and the boy was at home on his own. They hammered on the door and turned off the electricity when he refused to open up.  Moscow's finest left a note for Kirill's mother telling her that she could be forcibly taken into custody if she did not report for questioning.  Kirill later told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper: “They tell us that residents of Ukraine have been brainwashed, but it seems to me that we are being brainwashed here."

This inspiring story brought to mind the recent guidance issued to schools by the DfE on their legal duties on political impartiality.  In this, schools are directed not to encourage pupils to join campaigning groups, or take part in protests.    But what do schools do when they sincerely think that the government has gone completely off the rails?

There seems to be a good case for raising this issue in citizenship lessons because it's a significant question – and because we can.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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