High school pupils’ frustration as they are unable to vote
High school pupils have arrived for the historic EU Referendum count, and are frustrated they cannot vote.
Modern studies pupils from the Anderson High School have arrived at Clickimin, with differing opinions as to whether Britain should stay or leave the European Union.
Abby Bisset, 17, was allowed to vote in May but is unable to have her say in this referendum.
“I was really strongly [in favour of] remaining, just because I think it’s too dangerous for us to leave,” she said.
“I think it will plummet our economy into recession and really I don’t want to come out of university and not be able to find a job because we’re in a recession.”
She agreed the campaign had been confusing with a lack of facts.
“I think especially the Brexit campaign, a lot of it is so manipulative you don’t know what to believe and then everyone claims their facts are true but you don’t know what to believe.
“It really makes me mad that we can’t vote. It’s for our future and we don’t have a say in it. I feel [the voting age] it should be aged 16 at least.”
“I was able to vote in May. I don’t see why there’s a difference.”
Fifteen-year-old Danielle Scott believed Britain should leave the EU and Shetland would be better off.
“I feel it’s really important, especially for Shetland that we leave the EU,” she said.
She noted the importance of fishing and agriculture in the isles and said the UK should take inspiration from Norway leaving the European Union.
“I think it would make us more of an internationally known country because we wouldn’t be known as Great Britain as part of the EU, we would just be known as Great Britain and be more internationally friendly.”
Charlie Haddon, 15, also said Britain should leave.
He used the analogy of a classroom and said it was like other classrooms deciding how theirs should be ran.
“I don’t think other countries should be thinking how we run our country,” he said.
Modern Studies teacher Shona Taylor said it was a good opportunity for pupils to experience the count.
“When I was at school I never got the opportunity to experience this and for them to view it and see what happens I think is really important.”
She hoped it would mean the students would go home and talk about politics and “hopefully when they’re old enough to vote they will remember this and go out and vote.”
She believed the EU referendum vote should be from aged 16.
“I think 16 year-olds are definitely mature enough to vote and the fact they are considered as adults and go out and work but not able to have a say on their future is ridiculous.
“How are we supposed to engage young voters if we allow them to vote in one election and not another?”