Grove Academy pupils hope to use their voices to inspire change after learning about the workings of the UK Parliament.
Youngsters at the Broughty Ferry school got involved UK Parliament Week – held last week – which saw them take part in a series of activities designed to get them thinking about societal issues they feel need to be tackled.
S3 pupils took part in a debate on the use of ID for setting up social media accounts, the results of which will be sent to the UK Parliament petitions select committee.
Finlay Ross, 14, said: “We have been helping possibly shape a law by sharing our opinions on whether ID should be necessary for creating a social media account.”
“I think it’s useful us debating this in class because there were differing opinions on things which can spur in different ideas.
“It was a good opportunity for people to give their voices.”
Lily Matthews, also in S3, explained how the in-class debate brought up varying viewpoints on the issue but it was important for everyone to have their say.
The 14-year-old said: “There were differing opinions. Some thought that there should be ID and others thought that there shouldn’t because social media could have a lot of your information stored.
“The majority voted for ID when you sign up for social media so you can be tracked if you were to leave a hateful comment or post.
“Decisions being made now by the government will shape our generation’s future and they will impact us in years to come and it’s important that we have our say.”
“We should be doing more about the climate crisis”
S2 pupils also got the chance to voice their opinions, and Lily Ross and Miller Barrie were among those who created a special campaign tree which highlighted issues important to them.
Twelve-year-old Lily said: “We made these campaign trees with leaves of what we would like to change about the world – there were so many different issues on them!
“I think we should be doing more about the climate crisis, especially with COP26 being in Glasgow.”
“It’s such an important issue that so many young people have been campaigning about.”
Miller, also 12, added: “I quite like politics so I do think about it a lot.
“I would like foreign aid to be increased because right now it is really low, and as we recover from coronavirus.”
Inspired by other young activists
Both Lily and Miller have been inspired by other young activists who have helped encourage change, and learned about one youngster whose petition led to supermarkets stopping selling eggs from caged hens.
Miller explained: “There was a girl who was really upset about all the caged eggs and she made a petition which the government considered and shops stopped using them.
Lily added: “It’s really important that people know how to get their voices heard in the world we live in. As long as we know about parliament, it’s easier to get into it.
“There are a lot of young people involved in politics like Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai that people can look up to now.
“It’s about choosing our decisions for the future, more young people should know about.”