Fifth grader convinces principal to stop back-to-school balloon release

By Duong Tam   July 27, 2019 | 10:23 pm PT
Fifth grader convinces principal to stop back-to-school balloon release
Nguyen Nguyet Linh poses for a photo during a photography lesson. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
Lifts dreams of students, but sinks those of birds, fifth-grader tells her principal, asking school to stop releasing balloons into the air.

Once she learnt that balloons are made of plastic that is not biodegradable and is harmful to wildlife, Nguyen Nguyet Linh, who will enter the six grade in the upcoming academic year, was worried about the back-to-school-balloon-release-ceremomy held by many schools.

So she emailed her principal at Marie Curie School in Hanoi, saying: "I just want to send a message that balloon releases lift dreams of students but sinks the dreams of many wild birds and turtles. "

After reading her letter Thusday, school principal Nguyen Xuan Khang replied back within that night, saying he agrees with her and the school will not hold the balloon-releasing ceremony for the 2019-2020 school year.

The principal praised Linh, saying many schools have this ceremony, but unlike her, did not think about its negative impacts.

Balloons are released at a back-to-school ceremony on September 5 in Hanoi's Tay Ho District. 

He decided to name the opening ceremony of the 2019-2020 school year after Linh to make the day more meaningful, and hoped "more schools will follow this meaningful action."

Le Nguyet, her mother, said that Linh sent the letter to over 40 schools after she came up the idea a few days ago. She spent a day writing the email.

"When she told me about her idea, I was surprised, still supported her. At first, I recommended that she writes the letter by hand. But she told me she would draft an email and send it since it would reach more schools that way," the mother said.

Three other schools have decided to go along with Linh's idea.

"On Thursday evening, my daughter jumped for joy after hearing three other schools said yes and was even happier after her principal's reply."

Nguyet said that her daughter became an enviromental enthusiast after she enrolled her in a photography class where the teacher showed her images of the polluted ocean.

She asked the teacher's permission to use those images and put it in a clip that she and other classmates in her videography class did together in June to encourage people to cut back on their plastic waste.

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