Jeremy Corbyn backs Chorley teenagers banned from school prom over climate change protest
Three eco-warriors who were banned from their school prom for attending a climate change protest have won the backing of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Ellie Kinloch, Tyler McHugh, and Isobel Deady were barred from the end of Year 11 prom at Albany Academy in Chorley tomorrow because they skipped a revision class to go on the march.
The Lancashire Post told of the teenagers’ plight earlier this week and their story has since made headlines and won support across the globe.
Yet despite the intervention of the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, school bosses are refusing to budge.
The girls skipped school to attend a Youth Strike 4 Climate Manchester protest on May 24.
And while the school’s headteacher Peter Mayland took a dim view of their actions, Mr Corbyn applauded them.
Addressing his two million Twitter followers, Mr Corbyn said: “We shouldn’t punish young people for campaigning for a better world – we should be thanking them.
“Well done Ellie, Tyler and Isobel.
“You’re a great example to your fellow students, and to all of us.”
In May, Mr Corbyn was the MP behind the approved motion declaring an environment and climate emergency – describing it as a “huge step forward”.
More than 3,600 people have also signed a Change.org petition pressuring the school to overturn the prom ban.
Ellie’s godmother Wendy Bicknell, who launched the petition, said: “We are chuffed to bits with the response.
“It’s been mammoth.
“It’s gone worldwide; we’re getting signatures from Hong Kong, Vancouver and Australia.
“And to get the support of someone like Jeremy Corbyn has really lifted the girls and made us carry on.
“We just want the girls to go to the prom.
“We are still battling to get them there.”
Tyler’s mum, Laura McHugh, said her daughter has been “overwhelmed” by the support.
Laura said: “It’s brilliant, I can’t believe all the support we’ve had.
“It’s a real shame that the school hasn’t changed its mind, we’ve bought dresses and everything.
“I am just taken aback by it all.
“It’s great to see them standing up for what they believe in, I’m so proud.
“You bring them up to be individuals and take on what they believe in. School should do that too.”
It is understood a formal complaint had been issued to the school, but Albany Academy’s governing body ruled that the punishment was not going to be overturned.
Students were told ahead of prom that ill-discipline in the run up to the prom could result in the privilege being taken away from students.
Responding to the Post, Albany Academy headteacher Peter Mayland said: “Our position has not changed.”
Messages of support
Sarah Dagnall, from Horwich, said: “Saving our planet is important to everyone. Schools should be proud of the actions of their students for to standing up and making their voices heard. They should not be punished for fighting for their planet.”
Julie Daniels, from Lancashire, said: “There is no justification for this. The school is setting a bad example and will regret it’s decision. The kids deserve better.”
David Gray, from Manchester, said: “The world is dying and they chose to be part of the wake up call, showing superior intellect, knowledge, wisdom and compassion to the teachers who have reacted in such a petty way. These young people are heroic role models for all of us.”
Tom McKinnell, from Durham, said: “We seek to educate good citizens. This is clearly an example of children acting on that aim.”
Simone Wilkie, from Totnes, said: “These girls need supporting in their laudable action to bring to attention to the crisis we and all living things face on this planet.”
Jane Obyrne, from Derby, said: “Young people should not be punished for integrity.”
Protest group supports girls
The environmental protest group Ellie Kinloch, Tyler McHugh, and Isobel Deady skipped school to meet up with have raised concern at how the girls have been treated.
A spokesman for the Youth Strike 4 Climate Manchester group said: “We are currently working to see how we can support these girls because we believe it is very unjust that they be banned from their prom.”
It is understood an event in solidarity with the girls is being planned.
As well as the May 24 protest, the three girls attended the follow-up event in outside Manchester Central Library last Friday.
To view the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/mr-p-mayland-and-govening-bodies-outrageous-punishment-given-to-pupils-attending-youth-action-on-climate-change-protest