SAN Clemente High School at Mayfield had a record number of students on detention yesterday – yet no one had broken any rules.
Sixty students voluntarily spent their lunchtime in the school library as part of the school’s participation in the Detention 4 Detention campaign, which aims to end child immigration detention.
Religious education co-ordinator Rose McAllister said she spoke about the work of the Australian Coalition to End Child Immigration Detention to her year 10 class and was surprised to see student leader Paul Kelly, 15, ask if he could come to the front of the class.
‘‘He spoke about how grateful we should be to live in Australia and have the education we do and said this was something we should support,’’ she said.
Paul said he could not imagine what detained children endured, but organising students to be in detention represented in a small way the plight of detainees.
‘‘Those places are prisons in some way, designed to keep people in, keep them from society,’’ he said.
School leader Kate Slowey said 998 children were detained offshore or on the mainland and 985 in community detention facilities.
The year 7 to 10 students spent the 40 minutes creating video and written messages of hope for child detainees that will be uploaded to endchilddetention.org.
Students also signed a petition to end child immigration detention at change.org.au.