The Telegraph reports that peace campaigners have been accused of “indoctrinating” children, after Britain’s largest teaching union promoted a scheme to sell white poppies ahead of Remembrance Sunday. The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), a pacifist organisation, will this week formally launch a new campaign for schools across the country to endorse white poppies.
It comes after the PPU exhibited for the first time at this year’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference, where it signed up over 100 teachers to its inaugural teacher network.
The PPU, which grew out of the conscientious objectors movement in the First World War, aims to challenge what they see as the “glamorisation” of war through the sale of red poppies.
But Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, criticised the sale of white poppies in schools as “misguided”.
They have developed a white poppy school pack, which costs £60 and contains 100 poppies as well as leaflets, educational resources and posters.
“The white poppy aims to foster an understanding that there are alternatives to armed force, and rallies support for resistance to the growing militarisation of society”, explains the leaflet.
Ahead of the formal launch on Monday, teachers have already started ordering the packs directly from the PPU, and peace activist groups have also purchased packs to distribute at local schools.
Symon Hill, co-ordinator at the PPU said “Increasingly armed forces are going into schools – we are not saying children shouldn’t hear from them. But they should hear an alternative point of view.”
Will your school be selling the white poppies as well as the red ones? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via twitter ~ Tamsin
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