Reported by Ali Crane
The Burnaby mountain protests have been covered in the media extensively in recent weeks and it has been shown that among the multitudes of protesters, children have been thrust into the mix. How ethical is it to use children in these protests?
Two 11-year-old girls attended the Burnaby Mountain protests on Sunday amongst hundreds of other protesters. One of the girls illegally crossed police lines with her mother. Her mom was arrested but she was not.
Child protestors cross the line
I am all for having people stand up and protest their beliefs but bringing children to a protest crosses the line, literally.
Parents have the right to stand for what they believe in, but to push their political, social, or environmental beliefs on a child is wrong. A child should play no role in a protest and should not be used as a political pawn.
Young children are not fully developed enough to understand such large concepts like Kinder Morgan installing pipelines through Burnaby Mountain, and should not be subject to defending ideas they can’t comprehend.
Parents shouldn’t push beliefs on their children
A parent should guide their children, not force their ideas and beliefs on them or throw them into a situation where they are subject to media coverage and public scrutiny.
Not only does it not make sense for a child who doesn’t know what they are standing for to participate in a protest, but putting children in that type of setting could seriously threaten their safety.
It is no secret that in certain protests, sometimes fights, arrests and even shootings can occur. Things no child should be present for. Protests can be dangerous and unpredictable and sending a minor in to hold up a sign like a puppet is just plain bad parenting.
It seems to me like children that are participating in these protests are merely props to garner attention for the cause.