Parents Despair Over Jubilee Events

News from Celtic press

Events and celebrations surrounding the English monarchy are often a difficult time for nationalists from many of the Celtic countries, because of the prominence events are given in the media and in society in general by the establishment.

In the past members and supports of the League have often come up with innovative and creative ways to minimise the impact that these events have on people’s lives. In 2011 for instance, Adam Philips, the Cymru Branch Secretary organised an anti-Royal Wedding Camp for people who wanted to totally avoid the English Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011. With the Jubilee events surrounding the coronation of Elizabeth II of England taking place this weekend, the League has been contacted by supporters and members with children living in Cornwall and Wales, who have complained about the high profile that the English coronation is given in the schools that their children attend.

Parents say that they feel powerless to prevent the schools from exposing their children to the monarchist ideas, save from removing their children from the school for the period of time that the events and activities are taking place, but this is not always possible. A draft letter has been written by one member of the League, for parents who may want to send it to the school that their child attends, in order that the school is aware of their views. The letter is set out below and requires the sender to fill out the appropriate spaces with the name of their child/ren and the school to whom the letter is addressed. It is recommended that the letter is sent to the Head of the school and copied to the Chair of Governors/Board of Trustees, as appropriate.

“Dear [name of Head]

Jubilee Celebrations

I am writing with regard to the Jubilee celebrations that [name of school] Primary School is organising over the next few days.

My [name of daughter(s) and/or son(s)], currently attends [name of class child/ren attend] at [name of school] and I would like to express my dissatisfaction as a parent at the plans the school has made to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of England. I am aware that a school committee has been preparing Jubilee celebrations for the children at [name of school] for some time and I appreciate the effort that has gone into planning these events and activities.

However, as a parent I am concerned about the way the monarchy is presented to my daughter. I appreciate that many people in [Wales/Cornwall/other] are monarchists and I assume that the school has chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth II for this reason, but I would like to know if other political perspectives are also being explored alongside monarchism. My family are republicans for example, as are many other people in [Wales/Cornwall/other], and I would like to know if [name of school] explains this political tradition to the children too.

My concern in this matter stems from hearing about schools in [Wales/Cornwall/other] largely assuming that parents are happy that children are exposed to and encouraged to join in with a political and quasi-religious cultural celebration, without due consideration for the political and cultural beliefs of the child’s family background. For example my family identity is [e.g.Welsh not British/Cornish not British etc.] and we are against the flying of the Union Jack flag and all that it represents.

I resent the way that this event has been imposed on the children and their families, which has been designed to all intents and purposes for the sole gratification of a particular political perspective. I would equally resent the fact that my [daughter(s) and/or son(s)], may be encouraged to sing the English national anthem at the event, which I know some schools are doing. For me this sort of activity is akin to cultural assimilation and brainwashing.

I have not wanted to discuss political matters with my [daughter(s) and/or son(s)], at such a young age, but I have felt compelled to do this in case the school was not following an inclusive approach to this issue, which I know many schools fail to do. At the same time I do not want to remove my [daughter(s) and/or son(s)], from school, because she enjoys a party and she has said that she wants to take part. I feel it wouldn’t be fair for me to exclude her from this experience, but equally I am concerned about the subjective and overtly biased way these celebratory events are often foisted onto our children and would like reassurance that [name of school] has taken these matters into consideration in the way the English monarchy and monarchism in general is being portrayed at the school.

I hope you can appreciate my views on this issue and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

[your name]

CC [name] Chair of Governors”

For republicans and nationalists who want to express their anti-monarchist sentiment over this weekend, they can attend what is being billed as the biggest republican protest to take place in London on Sunday 3rd June, which is being organised by ‘Republic’. For more information on the protest, please visit www.republic.org

Related links:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3824
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3812
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3674
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3792
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3599
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3598
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3399

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot,
General Secretary,
Celtic League
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
gensec@celticleague.net

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE

29/05/12

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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