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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Student suspended for Free Tibet protest

September 2, 2008

Ema Corro
Green Left (Australia)
August 31, 2008

Students from Melbourne's Collingwood College protested on August 21
in defence of a student who was threatened with suspension for
wearing a "Free Tibet" T-shirt.

The Year 8 student, Michael, had been removed from class after a
Chinese language teacher took offence at his T-shirt.

Two of Michael's classmates responded by putting signs around their
necks that said "Free Tibet, Free Michael."

When another teacher attempted to remove the signs, more classmates,
along with passing year 10 students, came to their aid, with around
30 eventually joining a spontaneous protest outside the school.

While the protest saved Michael from being suspended, one of the
students who had sparked off the protest by wearing a sign, Ben
White-Bratton, was suspended and told to "go home and read about
Tibet." A number of other students were given detention.

White-Bratton told Green Left Weekly that the students felt that as
Collingwood College is a public school, they should have the right to
free speech. "It wasn't just about Tibet but also free speech," he said.

His mother, Jo White, told GLW the she was proud of her son for
taking a stand and "totally disgusted about his suspension,
particularly as it is a Steiner school and I thought they would be
more open-minded."
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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