Students stage mass migration at London College due to ‘intrusive’ security checks

Hundreds of students at a college in London staged a walk-out of “intrusive” security checks that took place on campus.

Up to 200 students at City and Islington College in north London went out of control on Monday, which the college says it has introduced due to rising knife crime and violence in the capital.

Photos and videos of the protest have since been circulated on social media, with large numbers of students shouting “stop the search”.

Hazel, 16, a college student, described security checks as “extremely intrusive” and in violation of students’ privacy. She said: “It makes me feel uncomfortable to know that I have personal items in my bag and it is very immoral for the school to suspect that all students have weapons in their bags. It is not okay for them to feel that they can just walk through our belongings. ”

“There has always been knife crime in London,” she added, “so it’s stupid to bring searches in now, and unless it’s a law that is mandatory for everyone, I do not think the college should just decide that they have desire to execute them from time to time. “

Another student, 16-year-old Tomas, said: “The college does not feel like a place to learn, we are presented and treated as criminals. I am afraid of myself and especially my black friends as this can lead to a Child Q- situation, which is why I disagree with stop and search. ”

In March, it emerged that a black teenager from Hackney in east London, called ‘Child Q’, was being searched by Metropolitan Police officers at the school while she was menstruating, following a false accusation of possession of drugs.

Tomas added: “I am disgusted that they do not intervene properly when children are really in danger, and instead put innocent students in fear when there is no real cause behind it. I am disgusted that they used knife crime as “Sorry, especially somewhere like Islington. I’m from Haringey, and a lot of teens, like myself, have a bit of a knife crime, and it’s super weird how they used that as an excuse.”

Kim, 16, also shared similar views as her classmates. She said: “Students have done nothing to provoke this new policy, so these administrators and such just make us, who are mostly Bame, feel inferior and invaded.

“It frustrates me, the only thing it has done is disrupt my learning by making me arrive late for class. No one should stand in line and have their belongings searched. It is a college, not a safe prison, we have to feel safe, ”she added.

Students say the security searches have disrupted their learning time and made them feel ‘targeted’.

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A teacher at the college, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared their concerns about the searches.

They said: “I have worked at the dorm for many years and we have never had a knife related incident. People have felt very safe here and even though there has been trouble on the street off campus we have never had a problem at the dorm “

“Given the news of ‘Child Q’ in Hackney,” they added, “children identify with the incident and feel stigmatized by troublesome children who resort to knives at every opportunity. They feel they are being branded. and targeted. “

“When the inspections were announced, the staff begged the management that they were not carried out and they even protested at the gates, but they went ahead anyway,” they said. “Now the students have made their voices clear, but the leaders are not listening, so I imagine there will be continued protests until the leadership listens.”

“The vast majority, if not all, of the students are against the control, so why should they continue?”

In response to the protest, the college issued a statement on Twitter saying that the allegations of “stop and search” style checks are false and that most students are in favor of increased security.

Kurt Hintz, the College’s Executive Vice President, said: “Controls have been introduced because knife crime is tragically rising again in London and there have been incidents that have resulted in injuries or deaths of young people, including students from our colleges in London.

“As one of London’s largest sixth – grade colleges,” he continued, “our duty is not only to educate and inspire our students, but to do everything we can to keep them safe while they are in our care. . “

In terms of security checks, the college said they are sporadic, random and non-invasive to students and aim to act as a deterrent to any student thinking of carrying a weapon on campus.

Student protesters described the checks as “intrusive” and “disruptive”, with one fearing it could be a repeat of the ‘Child Q’ incident.

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Sir. Hintz added: “We surveyed students in February, and of the 987 who responded, 623 (63 percent) said that random security checks for knives at the entrance to the college made them feel safer.

“We are very sad that some students have had a negative experience of being randomly selected and checked … It has never been our intention to make anyone feel exposed to why the checks are completely random.

“Unfortunately, the grim reality is that young people in London are now far more exposed to violence and the threat of violence in their daily lives … that’s why we carry out the extra security checks.”

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