Socialist Worker

School students protest at plan to push war propaganda in schools

Issue No. 2063

Students protest outside the Kids Connections agency in Camden, London (Pic: Jess Hurd/ http://reportdigital.co.uk

Students protest outside the Kids Connections agency in Camden, London (Pic: Jess Hurd/ » reportdigital.co.uk )


The ministry of Defence (MoD) has commissioned a marketing company to sell the war in our schools.

Kids Connection will produce lessons plans that set out the benefits of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and encourage children to join the army.

The lesson plans for the new school year have been met with outrage by school students. The School Students Against War (SSAW) group protested at these plans on Thursday of last week.

Tali, 15, is from SSAW. She was part of the protest outside the offices of Kids Connections in Camden, north London.

Tali said, “The lesson plans are a series of pro-war material that tries, in an underhand way, to persuade young people to join the army.

“They are trying to justify the war and persuade school students that the army is doing good things in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The army’s problem is that, since the occupations began, a lot less people are joining up. So they have decided to target children.

“They are trying to sell the idea that the army is like a computer game. But it’s really about taking part in an illegal war, and it’s about dying.”

The MoD sees schools as a recruiting ground. Young people are enticed to join the army only to find themselves dispatched to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many of the soldiers are returning with post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems.

Military recruiters called Defence Schools Presentation Teams have been touring the country to sell the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan as “humanitarian interventions”.

It has commissioned Kids Connections to produce the lesson plans for citizenship classes and is launching a website called Defence Dynamics.

One of the lesson plans lauds the British and US for opening health clinics in Iraq but ignores facts such as one in three Iraqi children can no longer go to school because of the war.

Socialist Worker asked Kids Connection to explain how they gathered the facts. But they refused to answer our questions or those put to them by the school students.

According to its website, Kids Connections specialises in “targeting toddlers, teens, teenagers and their families”.

It claimed that the demonstration of school students was “intimidating” and refused to accept a letter of protest written by the school students.

Tali said, “We are launching a campaign at the start of the new school year to stop the military from recruiting in our schools. There’s no place for them in our school.”

To join the campaign go to » www.ssaw.co.uk


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Wed 8 Aug 2007, 19:58 BST
Issue No. 2063
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