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Hyde school closes amid student protests over Gaza conflict

In a letter to parents, Hyde High School has announced its closure tomorrow as 'repression' claims from students lead to a protest.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign Manchester, an external protest group, claimed that students at the school had been labelled 'terrorists' for 'simply having painted the Palestinian flag on their hands' and were being 'repressed' for supporting Palestine amid the current Gaza conflict.

They added: "We have heard too many examples of teachers and school managements across the country cracking down on students for simply standing up for humanity.

"No doubt it is under the pressure of our blood-stained, genocide-supporting government, but let it be clear: we will not stand for censorship. The youth have the right to political activity, the right to protest and the right to object to genocide."

In this evening's letter from the school, the 'escalating chatter online' was addressed and headteacher Rorick Houghton assured parents that the 'false accusations' mentioned in the post had been 'investigated thoroughly'. He added that, in conversation with the pupils directly involved, the accusations had been found to be 'entirely untrue'.

"Had the accusation been true, this would have been an extremely serious matter and we would understand pupils' frustration, however this simply isn't the case," he wrote.

"Due to the incorrect information being shared on social media, it has now been picked up by a wider audience. The issue has come to the attention of an external protest group who have planned a demonstration outside our school tomorrow, Friday 3 November."

After seeking advice from GMP, the Local Authority and the Local Independent Advisory Group to decide upon the safest option for the protection of pupils and staff, it has been decided that remote learning will commence for pupils and the school will close for the duration of the day, while there is no indication that this won't be a peaceful protest.

"We are concerned that the relatively small space outside our gates might become overcrowded; this could be intimidating for pupils or cause dangerous overspill into the road putting both protestors and pupils at risk," the letter continued.

Hyde High School will reopen as normal on Monday 6 November.

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