The Article is on the front page of the print copy. It is the lead article on the CNJ website. In the print copy, it has bumped the latest news on the murder of Sabrina Moss to page 6, and potential voting fraud in the 2010 General Election to page 11. SLUDGE's story occupied Pages 1, 2 and 3. So, Mr Shawaddywoddykowski, the Trash is big news.
In reality, when Kinnan set up this blog, it was never meant to reach this scale. We have had 9000+ hits since the start of February, a clear guide to how many people appreciate the satirical nature of our blog, and clearly a show of people who feel disenfranchised from the direction the school is going.
You called us dangerous. You called Kinnan "a developing anarchist". Regardless of Kinnan's political views and whether he believes in it or not, agreeing with anarchism is not illegal. And we aren't dangerous. We have never threatened to attack or harm anything or anyone. The only danger is to your ego. We aren't a paramilitary, we aren't fighting a dictator who will gas those who don't agree. All we do is post a few jokes at the school's expense, often about students and their habits, not at the staff themselves; then occasionally we criticise your and your SLT's decisions, like the change from 8:40 to 8:35, or giving Sixth-formers late detentions.
There are things we agree on, like the involvement in the legal challenge against AQA after the Summer exams in 2012, or the opposition to Education Secretary Michael Gove's scrapping of Speaking & Listening in English mid-course. Yet the fact you blocked us on the school website in April, and expelled Kinnan in July, is hypocritical to your previous actions and words on three levels.
- Rights of a Child. You have had these printed in our planners, painted on walls and used in assemblies in order to get some award from UNICEF that you can use on the front of the planner and on the bottom of letters home. Yet you haven't abided by them. Article 13: Freedom of Expression, was broken by excluding Kinnan before threatening to exclude anyone else who "brings the school into disrepute", the claim used to exclude Kinnan. Article 17: Access to information from Mass Media, was broken by blocking the old URL of the blog.
- Excluding students who swear. This has never happened, and will never happen. If it did, three-quarters (a conservative estimate) of the school would have been expelled by now. This leads me nicely onto my next point.
- Hypocrisy over the Head's dealing of the 'Sachsgate' listening exam. After students in Year 10 studied the tapes of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross's phone call to Andrew Sachs. This included the sentences "he fucked your granddaughter" and "lovely, lovely sex". The head defended the use of this for a Controlled Assessment by saying "I think it is a totally appropriate thing to be doing. We are in the real world and children live in the real world. The unit is all about how people react to language and the limits of freedom of expression and this was a very famous snippet. It’s all about interpretation." Yet in response to enquiry to the CNJ he says "His posts were scattered with the f-word and c-word and if a student spoke like that in school they would be expelled. So of course I blocked the blog, and told him never to come back. He’s right, if he had been younger, he would have been expelled."
Reaction to the article by the CNJ has been unbelievably one sided; supporting us. Someone has posted it on Reddit, with comments overwhelmingly in our favour; it's also been shared on Twitter by a writer for the Radio Times, and the Education Editor for The Guardian. So, it's time for the Head to concede that he was in the wrong about blocking the Trash, and banishing Kinnan. We don't want much, our only requests are to be allowed to post without threats, and to have any suggestions we make to be treated seriously. Considering this is a satire blog, that is going to happen rarely. But the main thing is, this blog was set up to create a bigger student voice; with over 9,000 hits and an article in the CNJ that seems to be taking off as we speak, we can safely say that we have been successful.