Being Internationally Aware

Young Reporter Isabelle looks at a current issue in detail and ponders the question, should children be more aware of international problems?

Who is ‘the IS teenager?’

In 2015 a teenager, Shamima Begum, sneaked out of the county with two other of her school friends. It is said she was influenced by other people on social media, which could happen to other teenagers! She was born in London however her parents had a Bangladeshi inheritance. She claimed she went there to find the ‘perfect’ Islamic family life. To get there they took a plane flight from Gatwick airport to Turkey- from there they travelled to Syria.

Did she have a new family in Syria?

Within days of arriving there she married a Dutch man named Yago Riedjk. This would not be allowed in this country. He was aged 23 and she was 15. Although the age gap is rather extreme and Shamima Begum was very young, she said she didn’t mind, she just didn’t want to be alone and felt like she needed a family. Yago Riedjk (Shamima’s husband) had fled from Holland as he wanted to be fighting for the Islamic States. While in Syria Shamima and Yago had three children. However, all three died of different illnesses. Not only did the death of their children leave them distraught; Yago saw stoning and knew people who were executed. He himself was tortured, imprisoned and lived in fear whilst fighting for the IS.

What was daily life like?

Due to the problems with deaths of children and being tortured himself Yago surrendered the forces. This resulted in the fact that Shamimsa and Yago had no need to live in Syria. With Shamima nine months pregnant with their fourth child they didn’t want to risk anything. They wanted to move back to their home countries…

Not as easy as they thought:

You think it would be simple wouldn’t you? Coming home to your home country. Little did they know it would be an extremely difficult thing to do. Although they tried very to escape they were caught and it did not take long for the British government to work out what they were doing, trying to get back into the country. After much debating and getting many people involved it was decided that they would not be allowed back to Shamima’s home country as she had her British citizenship revoked. Their next attempt, and last chance, was Yago’s home country. They soon found out that if they went to live in Holland, Yago’s home country, Yago would be prisoned for six years.

They now don’t have anywhere to live and the question is should they have been allowed back to Britain?

So how are issues like this spoken about in schools?

Mrs Stevens told us that in CLASS students are taught about current events in an unbiased way, for example the pros and cons of social media and fake news. She said, “We try to teach both sides of the argument and listen to everybody that wants to speak. We will also do a lot of research to ensure that any information found out is true.”

You can read more about CLASS at Penrice here.