Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen West Yorkshire, paid the ultimate price last week – her life. Such was the shock of her murder that leaders from afar as well as home, from all spectrums paid their tributes to a woman who put her community first, ready and willing to do anything to bring people together. It was a sad day, that a woman who many had not heard of – a charity worker, mother, MP and activist of rights for all – could die in such a brutal way, and as some now believe for her beliefs. The world which Jo sought was one in which all, regardless of religion, race or culture could live in harmony. In her own words talking of her own constituency, she said, “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
As a teacher, our role is even more powerful and a necessary to eradicate the evil that killed Jo. We have to educate our young, make them citizens worthy of praise not contempt. Within classrooms let debate run, let views be heard, let one another respond within reason, respecting each other, valuing our beliefs, and British values of democracy and freedom. We in Europe have seen how division, hate and using notions such as ‘us’ and ‘them’ through propaganda has led to wars. We have moved on – the world no longer revolves around us, it is we who revolve around it. Tomorrow will be a defining moment in British History, when Britons go to the polls to vote, either to remain in the EU or leave. Whichever way the vote goes, it will have a long lasting effect for generations to come. I hope people vote wisely, and not with emotion.