It has long been said that if you aren't a socialist when you're young, you've got no heart; if you're still a socialist when you're old, you've got no head. Young people turn out in spades to support the Labour party at every local, regional and national election. There are many contributing factors; however, the politics of their teachers is the one least addressed.
According to a TES poll conducted before the 2019 general election, 49 per cent of UK teachers voted Labour. The same poll showed 80 per cent of teachers would vote Remain in a second referendum. This wouldn't be a problem, had it not been for the growing trend of educators assuming responsibility for deciding what ought to be the ideals and values of the students they teach. In 2017 a teacher, Calvin Robinson, warned that "young people are being trained into a lefty way of thinking" and taught to see the Conservative party as "evil". Though dismissed as an exaggeration at the time, events at the 2018 Labour party conference have proved him right. Another teacher, Sion Rickard, took the stage to give a chilling account of his own indoctrination of socialist values into the students he teaches, insinuated Conservatives are "evil" and asserted there would be none left with "proper education".
There is a faction within the teaching profession who see young people as tools to further their own agenda. Worryingly, they are seldom disciplined for this destructive behaviour because they can do it under the guise of 'education'. In reality, this is propagandising at best, institutional bullying at worst. In 2017, war hero turned parliamentarian, Bob Stewart, revealed his 13-year-old son's teacher told his classmates not to talk to him "because he is the son of a Conservative MP". For many Conservative and right-leaning pupils this treatment- by the very adults employed to protect them- is all too familiar. Founder of Students for Brexit, Robert Langley, recalled a teacher once told him "you should know which side your bread is buttered" on account of his working-class heritage and to vote Conservative would be "forgetting your roots". I remember one of my own teachers telling me, in front of my classmates, that as a Conservative I must hate gay people.
Judging by the resounding cheers Sion Rickard's speech invoked, the prospect of brainwashing children and humiliating non-conformists was a message well received by Labour. This comes as little surprise, of course, there was once another prominent socialist party that believed the same.
With this support, corrupt professionals are only becoming more brazen in politicising the classroom. During the 2019 general election campaign, left-wing teachers actively encouraged their students to heckle a Conservative PPC, Seena Shah, at a school hustings. When approached for comment on the subject, Shah recalled: "a real sense of Labour comradery in diminishing me." She described "strange and mocking facial expressions" from the Labour party candidate and said she left the debate with a clear sense that "in this school, pupils are actively encouraged to vote Labour and carry an intolerance for those with Conservative political views". Shah also expressed concern about students buying into the race traitor narrative, stating "they expressed an obvious lack of understanding in how a brown woman could be a Conservative and neither teaching staff, nor the Labour candidate herself, seemed to take issue with this".
Our schools should be flourishing ecosystems of ideas. Our young people deserve the chance to choose their own values, not be forced to parrot somebody else's. The government has a moral duty to intervene when student welfare is jeopardised and should now commission an independent review to determine the extent of political bias in British schools and its impact. If the problem is found to be as deep rooted as many fear, new powers must be granted to remove corrupt teachers from the classroom.History serves as an ominous reminder of the perilous consequences should education be weaponised for partisan gain. Under no circumstances can this be allowed to happen in Great Britain today.