Parents plan to picket Katie Hopkins school tour

Katie-hopkins-at-the-oxford-union

​Parents's group forms as Hopkins says she will talk in Scottish schools 

29th September 2017 by Robert Armour 2 Comments

Parents said they will protest outside Scots schools where TV personality Katie Hopkins is appearing as part of a nationwide talking tour.

It comes after the controversial right-wing columnist secured bookings for her talks at schools in Scotland, as well as in Wales, where she will discuss the “political and media landscape” with high school students.

The Scottish Government said that Hopkins isn’t someone it would invite to speak to Scottish schoolchildren and urged schools to consider values of tolerance, diversity and inclusion when booking speakers.

Scotland’s biggest teaching union said the columnist’s views were “incompatible” with the “welcoming environment” championed by Scotland’s education system.

A leaflet advertising her tour says: “We need to make better choices. Opinions are not right or wrong. Life is not an exam. And no-one made you invigilator. If your friends want to change your opinions, change your friends. Know why you believe in your views, welcome the thoughts of others. Own your opinions and stand strong.“

Hopkins’s agent is closely guarding the names of schools she’s appearing but Clare Devaney, who sits on a parent teaching committee in Edinburgh, said she knows of two schools which have invited Hopkins.

“We have written to the schools in questing demanding they immediately cancel the booking or we will disrupt the event on the night.”

Katie Hopkins preaches hatred and discrimination - Clare Devaney

Devaney said “dozens” of parents have created an opposition group via social media forums such as Mumsnet, Twitter and Facebook.  

“We will be peaceful but disruptive,” she said. “Schools have a responsibility to teach our children fairness and equality. Katie Hopkins preaches hatred and discrimination.”

A spokesperson for the EIS said: “Any school or teacher that might consider taking up the option to invite this particular speaker should be cautious and consider the message that this might send to young people within the school and to the wider school community.

“Many of the views espoused by this individual in the past are incompatible with the type of inclusive and welcoming environment that Scotland’s schools work very hard to provide.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “The Scottish Government is committed to fostering tolerance, diversity and inclusion, and we would hope that in deciding who to invite schools would hold firmly to these values.”

Comments

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29th September 2017 by Lok Yue

I must have missed Katie hopkins preaching 'hatred and discrimination'. I would have thought the concept 'If your friends want to change your opinions, change your friends. Know why you believe in your views, welcome the thoughts of others. Own your opinions and stand strong.“ was a sound one. I would also have thought a Government 'committed to fostering tolerance, diversity and inclusion' would be relaxed about someone expounding perfectly legal points of view and pointing to the importance of freedom of choice

29th September 2017 by S Potter

There is something inherently sinister about the "agent" stating that the names of the schools to be visited is to remain secret. Surely parents have a right to know.I cannot think of any educational justification for exposing 14 year olds, or even 15and 16 year olds, to this woman's offensive yammering!