TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) recommended heads of educational institutions to refrain from imposing sanctions for high school students who joined the demonstration in the DPR building, Wednesday, September 25.
“Children at their age are easily persuaded because they have not acknowledged the risks and dangers of their action. They only wanted to be called as cool kids,” said the commissioner for education division, Retno Listyarti, in a written statement, Thursday, September 26.
Other than from social media such as Instagram and messaging app Whatsapp, junior high students were invited by their friends who were senior high students. One of the junior high students was ordered to skip school and now sustains a broken arm.
Also, Retno went on, the commission found that some of them were not aware that they were called to take the streets. They were lured to have a city trip and free meals, she added.
Retno also said that some junior high students came to the Parliament building to witness the rally after school since their house was close to the site where the chaos broke out.
The demonstration staged by high school students on Wednesday, September 25, led to chaos with security officers. Donning school uniforms, they started to attack the police. The students flocked the DPR building in response to online invitation dubbed ‘Pergerakan STM se-Jabodetabek’, two days after the first university students’ protests held.
Retno further reiterated that students fell victims due to tear gas exposure and fatigue. However, some of them were injured by the police’s excessive force. “A student even has bruises all over his body and his eyes are sore due to attacks by some 10 officers,” she said.
Therefore, KPAI demanded the police and Communication and Information Ministry trace the spreader of rally invitation for students. Retno also asked the police to refrain from taking violence acts in handling the students. “Because most of them were only called to go along, and they were strongly suspected as victims of exploitation by irresponsible party,” she concluded.