Gerry German, 1928 – 2012
May 3, 2012 — News
Written by Gus John
Gerry was a life-long campaigner for children’s education rights and an unwavering supporter of all our struggles.
Having been a former headteacher and Principal Education Officer at the Community Relations Commission/Commission for Race Equality, he helped to establish the Working Group Against Racism in Children’s Resources and thirteen years ago invited me and a couple others to join him in setting up the Communities Empowerment Network (CEN). Over those thirteen years, CEN has dealt with an average of 1,000 school exclusion cases per year, providing advocacy to school students and their parents and representing them at School Governors Disciplinary Committees and at Independent Appeals Panels. Each year, we have taken some deserving cases to Judicial Review and won most of them. Gerry remained the main caseworker for CEN and its unpaid Director until yesterday.
Gerry deplored the punitive approach with which this country deals with children and young people, irrespective of their needs, and fought relentlessly for a more compassionate and children-centred schooling and juvenile justice sustem. He will be remembered for his warmth, generosity, humour and pure grit, especially when confronting injustice.
We give thanks for his extraordinary life and his giving and compassionate spirit.
Peace and hope!
Professor Gus John
See the Facebook page: Gerry German – A legend!
The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.