Our Peace Education Officer, Paul Andrews, has been very active campaigning on this issue. This is his report:
“Peace Education in schools has been an agenda item of mine for some time now. There appears to be a growing interest within schools to raise the profile of conflict resolution and looking at alternative methods to violence. It is with this in mind that we have undertaken work with several secondary schools in the Lancaster area, alongside some helpful friends both young and old from Lancaster Quakers.
This is what we have been able to do over the last six years:
In September 2007, a number of young Friends from Lancaster undertook a project to present to two separate assemblies within Central Lancaster High School. The theme was Peace One Day, and despite some initial nerves it appears to have been well received.
In January 2009, I prepared some material with one of Lancaster’s very own experienced and active peace campaigners: Mo Kelly. We presented this to a group of Queen Elizabeth’s Sixth Form students in Kirkby Lonsdale. Our theme centered upon our personal journeys into the Peace movement and raised many questions for the thirty plus students who attended our two separate workshops. Our central theme was “Peace in the 21st Century”, and with the aid of graphic displays (“CND at 50 -The Story of a Peace Movement”) we traced the last 50 years of campaigning since the Aldermaston marches. We emphasized the need to keep peace very much in the minds of all of us.
We connected up the wider aspects of peace both in the family, schools, community, and at a much larger scale within the wider world including the threatened use of nuclear weapons by many nations, including our own.
In December 2009 we were fortunate to have renowned veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent visit us in Lancaster, along with Anna Liddle, CNDUK’s Peace Education Officer, to mount an afternoon peace education session for Lancaster area sixth-formers in the Friends Meeting House in Lancaster, followed by a public session with Bruce in the evening.
In February 2012, again with Bruce Kent as visiting speaker both for the afternoon session and for a public event in the evening, we, in spite of the dreadful weather, had sixth-formers from four local schools for a very successful peace education event in the Friends Meeting House.
In March 2013 our peace education event brought fifty or more sixth-formers to the Friends Meeting House again for a lively afternoon session on drone warfare , under the title: “Drones: Effective? Legal? Moral?” Our guest speaker was Dr Tomasz Pierscionek of the Medact organisation.
Our experience has shown that inviting sixth-formers from differrent schools to come together on ‘neutral’ territory, and especially on the peaceful ground of an ancient Quaker building Quaker, is a very productive arrangement, one that complements well CNDUK’s proramme of visits to schools.
Watch this space for more information. Alternatively, if you have any ideas yourself, or would be interested in contributing in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me on 015395 34115.”
Peace Education Officer for LDCND