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high school organizers


At the October 26 march on DC, I came across a contingent of high school marchers from a town in Ohio. I asked how many came from there school and they said about 35. I believe that there is potentially a pocket of war opposition that is as large as that or larger at every high school in the state. That is literally tens of thousands that can be added to our opposition to the war - youth who can join our vigils, marches, demonstrations, etc. By involving high school students in our efforts we can also have one more avenue to reach out to their parents.

I think we need a plan to outreach to high school students throughout the state. We need to think of the following potential resources:

* parents among our ranks who have high school students as sons and daughters. Some of those children are in agreement with their parents and supportive of the war opposition efforts. These children can be asked to get a committee going an possibly organize an initial meeting. For those children who might not be that interested, I do not suggest forcing them but you probably could at least talk to them about who they might know in the high school who leans in our direction. They might be willing at least to put you in contact with them to explore possibilities. Of course, we should keep their parents in the loop as well.

*many college students probably have younger brothers and sisters and younger friends back home who could be supportive of our efforts or would at least consider your views if you were to send an e-mail or snail mail letter to them. If there is interest, work with the closest anti-war committee to get something going with the youth.

*There are likely some high school teachers among our ranks. We should talk to them and see if they can help us identify social concerns groups, Amnesty International chapters, etc., in the high school that can be approached. They could also know which students are approachable and might be able to make some of those approaches.

* We should seek out high school e-mail lists, web sites, etc., where our messages and information could be disseminated.

* Some high schools have student run newsletters and newspapers where we can possibly take out paid advertisements about our efforts.

* We can go back to the high schools we graduated from and approach principals and superintendents about possibly presenting some alternative views via a guest speaker or after school meeting. We can also ask the principal if there existing social concerned groups in the school that we can approach.

* We can simply approach administrations and make an equal time argument given the access military recruiters have. They should be able to tell us of what groups / clubs in the school that might be approachable already exist.

* High school student call to action . . . a statement drafted by high school students calling other students to unite against the war can be circulated with signatures being accumulated. The statement can be the piece of literature that we use to introduce our opposition to the war from one high school to the next.

If we brainstorm about it, there are likely some other resources that we can utilize.

The following is a general plan of action for each school:

1. Get a written message out to the students as widely as possible. This can be done through one of the means described above.
2. The statement should invite students to a meeting - hopefully after school (3:30) in the school (we need to rent or arrange a room).
3. The meeting should provide an open discussion where all views can be presented.
4. Hopefully from the meeting, a core group of activists can be identified.  The follow up is to work through the core group to get messages out to the school about local vigils, marches, rallies, teach-ins, etc. We should talk to the parents of the youth we are working through to make sure that they are ok and supportive of our working with their sons and daughters.

I am sure that local groups and committees have their own ideas about how to proceed organizing high schools. I think that this is a task we should embrace at double speed. It is the children in the high schools who are being recruited into the service as fodder for the war on Iraq. They are the future.

Let's make a plan and get busy!

If you have further ideas on this topic or want to help out with the effort, please reply.


Bob Witanek

High School Organizers:
Anti War Network
Bergen Action Network
Buena HS:
Jess H Campus Directory
Cranford HS: Lauren Albert
Edison, JP Stevens HS: Yasmin Kussam:
Kapil Kale

Hackensack HS SSAC
Madison High School, Peter Moody,
Metuchen Students for Social Justice.  Contact Mike Pasxamant,

National Campus Antiwar Network
National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
NJ Sierra Student Coalition
NJ Sierra Student Coalition Local Contacts
New York / New Jersey Campus Anti-War Network
Piscataway High School:     Sarah Howard

Teaneck High School  ~*Aziza*~ aziza M charaf ]
Voorhees Eastern HS  /   Peace Week Organized by Voorhees Students
Westfield HS: Ali Jacob:

Youth Against Exploitation, War And Racism (YAEWAR) 

No Child Left Behind
Teaching Moratorium Call
Youth Statement to NJ Assembly Veteran Affairs Committee
Letter to HS Faculty

List Serves:

Subscribe to High School Anti War List Serve for Announcements and Discussion . . . send message to:
and then reply to the confirmation notice.

Another youth list serve:

And another:

And another:  Some youth organizing news coverage:


Some youth organizing news coverage:

JP Stevens

West Windsor / Montgomery