A member of the House of Lords gave Holy Trinity School pupils a lesson to remember on the day of the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire.
Baroness Tonge visited the school in Buckswood Drive, Gossops Green, on November 21 to give more than 200 students a hard-hitting talk on human rights and democracy in the Middle East.
The eyes of year ten students and sixth formers were opened as the member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) gave a detailed account of the history and current political situation in the Middle East, most notably Israel and Palestine.
Sebastian Mitchell, deputy head boy, organised the event through his membership of the PSC in the hope that it would help to make his community more aware of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He said: “I’m very pleased with how the talk went especially seeing students lean forward in interest.
“To hear this information from someone who has seen the situation herself is far better than just reading about it.”
Baroness Tonge, former whip of the Lib Dem Party, urged students to get involved in politics, to seek a balanced set of views from both sides of the argument and to consider joining a political party.
Students were informed that even though the conflict seemed distant, there was a profound relevance and implications that will affect people in this country.
They were also presented with a book on human rights and democracy from the foreign office.
Headteacher Paul Kennedy was glad his students had received a lesson from someone with first-hand experience.
‘I’m delighted that our young people are challenged to consider international issues and the role they can play in local, national, and international politics,” he said.
“It was fantastic to see so many people interested in international affairs, and it was inspiring to see the level of maturity with which they dealt with the concepts.”
Sebastian has also arranged for Dr Gahda Karmi to do a talk next year. Dr Karmi is a member of the PSC and was forced to flee Jerusalem at the age of nine.