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AIBU to think that this is political and should not be supported by a state school

(351 Posts)
FlamingoCroquet Sat 11-Jun-16 22:47:01

(I have name-changed as this is very identifiying to any other parents or teachers from the same school. But I've been on here for 8 years)

DC's primary school informed us in the newsletter that the school is supporting a scheme to provide aid - specifically a backpack of items - to unaccompanied boys age 11-17 at the Jungle camp at Calais, in partnership with an organisation called Calais Action. They are asking parents/children to donate. This is to coincide with Refugee Week.

I'm very uneasy about this. I don't want to get into an argument about the whole migrant/refugee debate, but I feel that this is a political action and should not be supported by a state school. I am not against helping refugees in general, and would not complain if they were raising money for the Red Cross or Medicins Sans Frontieres. But I have major misgivings about supporting a group called Calais Action.

I'm thinking about emailing the school governors to raise my complaint, but I'm reluctant to be seen as that person who is anti-charity, when my DD has several years left at this school. What do you think?

bearofnothingness Sat 11-Jun-16 22:49:30

it doesn't sound very political to me, but very sad and grim. i wouldn't have a problem with it myself...

ilovesooty Sat 11-Jun-16 22:50:59

It doesn't seem political to me either.

DarthMother Sat 11-Jun-16 22:52:18

Is it not a humanitarian issue, rather than political?

Wheredidsummergo112 Sat 11-Jun-16 22:52:52

Doesn't sound political to me either. Just a charity trying to help children who are stuck in a tragic and dangerous situation.

christinarossetti Sat 11-Jun-16 22:53:13

Calais Action is a registered charity.

I would say that giving to unaccompanied children is a humanitarian rather than political action.

Why is giving via Calais Aid more 'political; than donating via Red Cross?

madcapped Sat 11-Jun-16 22:53:49

Yabvu. Have you seen the conditions those poor people are being kept in? You object to charitable giving to unaccompanied children? You sound terrible.

DC's school sent loads to Calais as part of their harvest festival. We gave bags of stuff.

Surely giving isn't compulsory. Just give your money to the charity of your choice.

NorksAreMessy Sat 11-Jun-16 22:53:50

Why are you uneasy?
These poor people have NOTHING, literally nothing.
This is a kind thing to do that will help your DC understand a little bit about how it is to live with nothing, where nobody wants you and where you are fleeing for your life.

FuzzyWizard Sat 11-Jun-16 22:54:05

I don't think it sounds political. Sounds like a nice idea to me- I think primary schools often like to support quite specific causes. It's easy to explain to young children where that money goes and how it is spent and helps other children.

cannotlogin Sat 11-Jun-16 22:54:28

Have you googled Calais Action to see what it is they do? You are under no obligation to help so just ignore it if it bothers you.

christinarossetti Sat 11-Jun-16 22:54:50

Do you actually know anything about Calais Action?

Here's some information:-

LittleBearPad Sat 11-Jun-16 22:54:52

They are children, alone in a strange country. Giving them clothes, whatever isn't political.

SwearyInn Sat 11-Jun-16 22:55:05

I think the bit I'm uncomfortable about is the fact they are only raising funds to help

But otherwise it doesn't sound political to me.

Motherfuckers Sat 11-Jun-16 22:55:40

How is supporting this charity political?

PopGoesTheWeaz Sat 11-Jun-16 22:56:18


Balletgirlmum Sat 11-Jun-16 22:56:24

What a good idea. Hope it catches on amongst other schools.

StickTheDMWhereTheSunDontShine Sat 11-Jun-16 22:57:14


It's about having a bit of compassion for people whose lives are undeniably shitter than yours, right now.

PopGoesTheWeaz Sat 11-Jun-16 22:58:04

I think Calais Action and CalAid are two different organisations.

RunLillian Sat 11-Jun-16 22:58:10

From their page:

Project aim

CALAIS ACTION IS A GRASS ROOTS GIVING GROUP TO HELP REFUGEES IN CALAIS AND EUROPE. Libby Freeman established the group in August 2015 following her initial trip to Calais. We believe there is a real need to establish an organised giving network in the UK which can help support the growing crisis in Europe.

About the project

Returning from her first visit to Calais to take donations to 'The Jungle' Libby felt more needed to be done to support the growing refugee crisis and so CALAIS ACTION was founded.

CALAIS ACTION has been growing at a rate beyond our comprehension and we believe it is important that we now develop our group to support the donations coming in so we can do more for refugees across Europe. We have raised £20,000 through volunteers, set up donation drops across the UK and created a global giving map which is being used internationally to track donations.

Coverage of the campaign has appeared in The Guardian, Al Jazeera USA, TIME, ITV News, Grazia Magazine, BBC World News, CBC, This Morning, BBC2, London Live and The One Show

We believe in community action - that grass roots giving from local communities around the world is the key to offering support and also raise awareness of the current migrant crisis - helping those in need to reach the life and destination in a fair and humane way.

Thank you for your support,


This is not political; it is humanitarian. What exactly is your objection?

AlmaMartyr Sat 11-Jun-16 22:58:14

This doesn't sound political at all. I'd be thrilled if our school did this.

PippaFawcett Sat 11-Jun-16 22:58:26

I think this is the saddest thread I have read on Mumsnet for a long time. I wish my DC's school were doing something so considerate and from my own selfish, making it easy for me to get something passed on to those children. I do hope, OP, that now people have pointed out that it is a humanitarian issue that you will drop all thoughts of complaining and get a rucksack full of useful bits and bobs together, finances permitting of course.

Buttock Sat 11-Jun-16 23:01:11

Our school has already helped the refugees at Calais. Why the hell would you think it's political?

BertrandRussell Sat 11-Jun-16 23:01:18

Why just boys?

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 23:02:04

I can't see what's political about it ?!?

AugustaFinkNottle Sat 11-Jun-16 23:04:17

You seriously don't want your child's school to help destitute children?

WTF is wrong with some people?

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