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An issue that concerns me - written by a 10-year-old Queenslander

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An issue that concerns me - written by a 10-year-old Queenslander



An issue that concerns me - written by a 10-year-old Queenslander

Today, I’m going to tell you about an issue that concerns me. I’m concerned that not all kids are treated fairly, because sometimes, adults treat all kids the same way and assume that we all get what we need. This is concerning because despite us being similar ages, some of us require different attention or have different needs.

However, I worry that not all children are getting what they need to be their best self.

To see if other people agreed with me, I asked 9 kids and adults from my school if they thought it was fair to be treated equally, 7 out of those 9 all said no. Then I asked them why it wasn’t fair to be treated equally. These are three responses I got. The first person said “we are all different” another said “they need to be treated how they are” and finally, the last person said “some people need extra treatment or extra support”.

So, most people did agree that not all kids are treated fairly.

In my own life, there have been two examples of inequity that have made me really upset and are the reason that I am speaking here today.

The first thing that made me upset was the day I realised that my friend was coming to school EVERY day with no food and no lunchbox. Day after day he would continue to come to school going unnoticed.

Then, one day, me and my teacher both noticed that he wasn’t bringing food, so we helped him. But what if people don’t notice? We need systems in place to make sure kids don’t fall through the cracks.

My friend is not alone. Although we live in such a wealthy country, some kids still come to school without a stomach full of food and no lunchbox. In fact, 1 in 5 kids go to school hungry.

Imaging trying to learn when your stomach is empty, and your brain switches off. This is the reality for many kids.

A way we can prevent this is by the government providing school lunches which would be divvied out to all children and those who can’t afford it, will get it for free. Then everyone gets the same as each other and nobody is left feeling that their food is not good enough.

The UK have had a school lunch program like this for disadvantaged children since 1906. That’s nearly 120 years!

The UK’s school lunch program was actually in the news not that long ago. When schools had to close during the covid pandemic it meant that children would no longer get breakfast club and lunches provided by schools. Famous English footballer, Marcus Rashford who plays for Manchester United (but we won’t hold that against him) found out that kids wouldn’t be getting school meals, he said, “What are the kids gonna eat?”

I think what he really meant by this was, what would these lockdowns had meant for Marcus Rashford when he was seven. Could he have still become a pro footballer if he came to school every day with no food?

So Marcus Rashford and other celebrities decided to campaign the government that every child in need would get one free meal whether schools were open or not. And they were successful! He is a good example of how much something simple, like getting lunch every day, can help you be your best self.

Another example of things not being fair is sport and other outside school activities. What I mean by this is some children’s families can find the right club or sport for them and can afford to pay for it, while others find themselves feeling left out and don’t get what they need to be their best selves.

I know there are vouchers to help kids pay for sport, but they don’t cover nearly enough. Especially for kids who are good enough to play at the top level in their sport. The average cost for a child to play a community level sport is just under one thousand dollars a year. But for those who are really good at sport and play for an elite team it can cost up to three thousand dollars.

I used to play football with a boy with many siblings, because of this situation he would often either miss training or turn up halfway through. Toward the start of the season he would even miss games, other kid’s parents began to think that he was “lazy”.

That made me angry, because really his family didn’t have access to transport or even google maps on their phones which is a thing people just take for granted. At the end of his first season playing with me, our team separated. Because my friend’s family was busy with lots of other things they didn’t realise that there was an opening at another club. The position was advertised, but the information was only online and meant they had to find it, read it, then get to the trials on the right day and at the right time. Not all families can access this kind of information. So we went along together and me and my friend both made the team. This story is a great example of why treating everyone equally doesn’t mean you’re treating them fairly. Sometimes, to get opportunities, people need different support.

A way to prevent this problem is for adults to work out how we could develop a Make a Wish Foundation, but for those disadvantaged families out there. It could help pay for sport or other activities and help with transport. We also need to look out for our friends, rather than being competitive.

Most children can make what they need out of the equal environment given but some find themselves feeling that they’re not being treated fairly. When adults don’t pay attention they just look past problems and think they can make judgements without understanding what’s actually going on. For most kids this can really hurt their self esteem. There are over 100 thousand kids in Logan and I’m one of them, so it doesn’t feel good to watch something happen to a peer.

Constantly teachers and parents are telling us that everyone’s different. If this fact is true then why to this day are children constantly being treated the same? Us kids shouldn’t be treated the same just cause we’re all “kids”. We should be treated fairly, the way each of us needs to do our best and to out go our limits.

Fairness isn’t giving everyone the same, it’s giving people what they need to have the same capabilities.

Every day that adults don’t act to make the world fairer, children in our community are missing out on opportunities fit for them.

Thank you for your time and consideration and I hope that you decide to take action and make this the new fair and equal reality.