Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils of Stretford High School
I am writing to clarify some rumours spreading on social media:
- that I have donated money raised by the school to 2 charities: ‘one supporting Palestine, the other supporting Israel’.
- that the money was raised for a specific named charity and this had been agreed by the school
- that I chose these different charities without discussion or consideration
None of the above are true:
- We are donating the money to ONE charity: Red Cross Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel Crisis appeal. Below you will find 2 links. The first will take you to a website which explains the work the charity is doing and the second is a link which allows you to donate. You will see that the Red Cross is a ‘neutral, impartial, independent humanitarian Movement‘ who ‘respond when people need us, no matter who or where they are.
- I love that our pupils want to make a difference in our world and I encourage it at all times. So I absolutely agree that as a school we should take a stand when anyone’s human rights are being jeopardised and I agreed with a number of groups of pupils that we could raise money to help those affected. However, I specifically made it clear that this was a human rights travesty and that money raised would not be skewed politically to either ‘side’. The fundraising was not for either government but to help the people who are truly suffering on the ground. The ordinary people who need medical care, food and shelter.
- I met with a number of pupils over the last weeks of term and we discussed a number of charities. Again, I was very clear in these meetings that we were responding to the humanitarian tragedy and the charity had to reflect that. We chose the British Red Cross specifically because it is a neutral, impartial, independent humanitarian movement which helps people where they need it most. This charity specifically has a live appeal to ensure funds go where it is needed right now.
I want you, our community of pupils, parents, carers and staff to know that what you are reading on social media is not true. I am proud of our school and the record we have of doing the right thing for the right reasons. It saddens me that somehow, someone has turned something intended to bring support and aid to those suffering has been stirred up to cause friction in our community.
However, these people who want to sow seeds of hate will not deter us. The hate I have received today will not deter me – and yes I do mean hate – vile messages and threats. I know that these voices are not the majority. My actions will continue to be be fueled by my mother’s mantra – ‘if you wouldn’t want it to happen to you, don’t do it to anyone else’. I have since learned that this is the thread that weaves through most religions and is the guiding rule for humanity to live in harmony.