Teddy protest for children of Syria

Staff and pupils at Walton-le-Dale Arts College and High School have mounted a very cuddly-looking political protest.

Monday, 31st October 2016, 1:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:15 pm
Photo Neil Cross Walton-Le-Dale Arts College & High School pupils have collected 200 teddy bears which they will be lining up outside the school as a protest and to raise awareness of the Syria crisis Caitlyn Graham and Liam Fitzsimmons

Together they collected more than 200 teddy bears to line up outside the school in Brindle Road, to raise awareness of the Syria crisis.

Each bear represented a child in Aleppo in the past month since the cease fire ended. It was inspired by teddies being left outside the gates of Downing Street the week before.

The Walton-le-Dale effort was organised by humanities teacher Victoria Hill, who also runs the school’s weekly Amnesty International club.

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Photo Neil Cross Walton-Le-Dale Arts College & High School pupils have collected 200 teddy bears which they will be lining up outside the school as a protest and to raise awareness of the Syria crisis

She said: “There are 250,000 innocent people living in the bombing zone, 100,000 of them children.

“Our pupils have been really concerned and wanted to learn more about it. They also wanted to raise awareness about the situation locally.”

The pupils also made banners and posters, with some also writing speeches.

Miss Hill added: “It was very striking and we took some photographs because the pupils are keen to get in touch with local MPs and get people to sign the Amnesty International petition calling on he Prime Minister to take action to protect the children of Aleppo.

Photo Neil Cross Walton-Le-Dale Arts College & High School pupils have collected 200 teddy bears which they will be lining up outside the school as a protest and to raise awareness of the Syria crisis

“The more people we get to sign the petition, the more chance we have of getting it discussed in Parliament.”

Miss Hill is also hoping to encourage other schools and other local groups in Lancashire to stage similar protests.

Skye Baker of year seven said: “We want Lancashire to learn more about this horrible issue. We want people to sign the Amnesty International Petition to get the government to do more to help.”

Millie Swarbrick of year seven said: “Children are not weapons they should have the right to a childhood and they should be protected.”

Honey Jones, also of year seven, said: “Learning about Syria has made me realise that we are very lucky to be in a free country , we should appreciate our own lives more.”

The teddies will now be donated to the Teddy Trust who work with ‘Syria Relief and Development’ who will be taking them to Syrian refugees and Yazidi refugees from Iraqi in a camp in Kurdistan.