Up in the far north of Germany....lies Lubeck...a coastal community on the Baltic. This week, they got themselves into the news. It won't be page one or page two....but it's a curious episode.
In recent weeks, there's been anti-Pegida demonstrations or events. Everyone is hyped up to put on a freedom, tolerance, openness, diversity, and acceptance "show".
So, the teachers and management folks from the Lubeck school environment made a decision that "ENCOURAGED" (might be better said forced) roughly a thousand kids from the school system to be part of the show.
The local newspaper covered the event and wrote up on the fine episode. The problem then occurred.....kids wrote onto the Facebook page of the newspaper....they were forced to the event.
Generally, it's believed that half of the kids simply did not want to attend....although you can't cite absolute evidence on anything.....it might be fifty percent....it might be eighty percent.
The episode came off to be seen as a mandatory-attendance event. You had to show up. In the states....a kid would have shown up....walked around for ten minutes and then quietly drifted off to the park to sip beer with his buddies or head back home to say 'sure, I was there' if anyone asked.
The school's reaction? According to various newspapers....the director of the area's schools tried to defend this. For practical purposes....they labeled attendance as a school event so that kids could attend easily (thus being dismissed out of class). I think he's probably correct on that.....but as word goes down each step.....it probably got interpreted in different ways, and at the end-point.....kids understood this to be mandatory.
The one other aspect of this that might come out.....other kids throughout Germany will look at the comments and the mandatory directions given....seeing some similar characteristics. This probably won't be the last "encouraged" event that got wrapped around the axle. When you get to a point where freedom, tolerance, openness, diversity and acceptance is mandatory and demanded.....then they aren't so pure with their intentions.