Alas, anti-Israel demonstrations taking place in the streets of Canadian cities are hardly newsworthy. But one spirited protest in Mississauga, Ont. on Wednesday was something completely different. That’s because the demonstrators were Grade 4 and Grade 5 elementary students who attend Garthwood Park Public School.
That’s right: children as young as nine-years-old were marching on the sidewalk facing the school, brandishing anti-Israel signs. Many chanted slogans such as, “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die” and “Ceasefire now!”
In the final analysis, it was somewhat heartbreaking. Regardless of where one stands vis-a-vis the Israel-Hamas war, can’t we leave the kids out of this? Must young children be enlisted as political pawns when it comes to conflicts in the Middle East?
And the question arises: who was the mastermind behind this demonstration? It’s a question that remains unanswered. The smattering of parents who also took part in the protest told Rebel News it was the decision of the children themselves to stage the demonstration.
Do nine- and 10-year-old kids really have a solid grasp on what’s happening in Gaza these days?
The Peel District School Board issued a letter to parents and provided a statement to the media. Part of it read as follows: “This demonstration does not have official endorsement from the school or Peel District School Board. By participating in this student-organized walkout, students are expressing their democratic right to engage in peaceful protest.”
The school’s principal, Caroline Sossi Grant, also issued a similar statement to parents. Namely, the walkout was all about a peaceful protest; freedom of speech, etc., etc. Pop quiz: during the COVID-19 period, do you think walkout protests by students denouncing masks and vaccine mandates would’ve been tolerated? Would the board and the school be staunch supporters of free speech in that scenario – or would they perhaps call the folks at the Children’s Aid Society?
Again, it was sad to witness. Childhood is such a perishable commodity. Why can’t we let kids be kids?
Then again, be they marketers on Madison Avenue or Marxists on campus, both camps live by the same slogan when it comes to the art of indoctrination: “Get ’em young; get ’em forever.”