St Peter's Maitland places 200 students on detention

Catholic Schools Office

Tomorrow, more than 200 students from St Peter's Campus, All Saints College, Maitland, will spend their lunch time on detention, seated at desks in the playground as part of the school's 2013 Social Justice Campaign.

 

In the morning, no electricity will be allowed for teaching purposes, lessons will be taught without furniture in the classroom and then after the school day's over, 85 students and 15 staff will sleep all night on cement, in sleeping bags, in the grounds of the school.

 

Organiser of the Social Justice Campaign at St Peter's, 30 year-old teacher Ryan Gato, said the day aims to help the school community to experience, and gain insight into, the needs of the marginalised.

 

"What we are trying to achieve is a day that empowers our students and staff to become more informed, reflective and compassionate about building just societies and to develop a deeper sense of compassion for people in difficult situations," he said.

 

The lunchtime event, ‘Detention4Detention, is part of a campaign organised by the Australian Coalition to End Immigration Detention of Children in order to raise awareness and encourage leaders to treat asylum seekers with dignity and greater compassion.

 

Principal of St Peter's Maitland, Michael Blake, said the Social Justice Awareness Day, Detention4Detention and the Sleep Out are great ways for students to step outside their comfort zone. 

 

"Many of our students are very fortunate in the lives they live,"” Mr Blake said. “"An opportunity like this helps students to empathise with those less fortunate than themselves and the program enables them to spend a small time in immersion, and then reflect on what they can do to make a difference,"” he said.

 

Below is the proposed timetable for the annual Social Justice Awareness Day:

 

  TIME SCHOOL ACTIVITY
PERIOD 1 9:10am - 10:02am No electricity to be used in class. No lights, data projector, SMART board, laptops, internal phones, bells etc.
PERIOD 2 10:02am - 11:04am No electricity to be used in class. No lights, data projector, SMART board, laptops, internal phones, bells etc.
PERIOD 3 11:29am - 12:29pm No furniture to be used in class. Electricity will now be available.
PERIOD 4 12:31pm - 1:31pm No furniture to be used in class. Electricity will now be available.
LUNCH 1 1:31pm - 1:56pm Detention4Detention (200 students participating)
PERIOD 5 2:16pm - 2:55pm Students are now able to use electricity and furniture simultaneously.
CLOSING 3:00pm - 3:16pm Closing. Students to gather in the main yard to conclude the day with prayer and discuss the purpose of today's activities.

 

The student Sleep Out (involving 85 students and 15 staff members) will begin at the school at 5:30pm.