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Democracy Forum for Yrs 12 & 13 Students at Birmingham Council Chamber


By Webmaster - Posted on 27 November 2014

Lord Mayor, Councillor Shafique Shah welcoming the students

Eight schools sent approximately 110 pupils from years 12 and 13 (sixth form) to the Council Chamber where they were greeted by Barry Badham, Senior Vice President of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, and followed by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Shafique Shah. 

The panel consisted of MP Khalid Mahmood (Labour), Councillor Robert Aldon (Conservative), Councillor Sue Anderson (Liberal Democrat) and Bethan Dovey (a Vice President of Birmingham University’s Guild of Undergraduates) and it  was ably chaired by Peter Morgan, who sat in the Lord Mayor’s seat. 

The questions were entirely from the student body and ranged over many issues faced by both students and many members of our society, for example, the potential legalization of cannabis, the pros and cons of grammar schools, the role that Western powers may have played in the creation of ISIS and management of debt incurred by attending University. 

The replies from the panel were very forthright and interesting with many different views on the topics discussed.  There was no consensus on legalization of cannabis, it being perceived that there were both good and bad outcomes possible for both legalizing it and keeping it illegal; grammar schools were perceived providing a good education for those who attended, but their exclusivity was perceived as a problem; the US and, to a certain extent, the UK perception as being enforcers of World order was seen by the panel as being instrumental in giving ISIS its credibility, albeit as an organization totally devoid of any morals or humanity; the very high debt incurred by graduates was seen as inevitable if such a large proportion of the population is to go through the degree process.