School students have been taking part in the protests sweeping the US, against the failure to prosecute police for the killing of black youngster Michael Brown in Ferguson, and black father of six Eric Garner in New York.

Students in Philadelphia high schools dropped to the ground at a pre-arranged signal and lay for four and a half minutes in silence to symbolise the four and a half hours that Michael Brown's body lay unattended. In other schools the students walked out of lessons and marched through the town. They say they are learning lessons about injustice not from school but from headlines. One student told reporters:

"Us falling to the ground symbolizes the possibility that it could have been any of us. Mike Brown looks like my brothers, and he looks like my father, and Philadelphia isn't that different from Ferguson."

Another said: "There's a feeling of sadness and feeling overwhelmed but also of hope and power and change that we want to act on and make stronger."

The die-in protests in Philadelphia are still carrying on with another planned for next Thursday, December 18th. Meanwhile all over the US, young people are taking part in mass protests in many cities including New York, Washington, Boston and Chicago, and there have been many arrests. Many sports people have donned T shirts with the slogan ' can't breathe' – Eric Garner's last words - and the hash tag has spread globally, as have the protests.

In another development, former mayor of New York, Rudi Guilliani has used the massive wave of anger against police racism and brutality as an opportunity to attack teachers and their unions and promote the corporate education 'reform' agenda. In an interview with Fox News, he suggested that protesters were looking in the wrong direction when they blame police 'overreaction' for the deaths, which is only 'a small part of the problem.' The real problem he says is the failure of teachers to teach children to respect the police and build improved 'family situation in black neighbourhoods.' He went on to say:

“Maybe all these left-wing politicians who want to blame police, maybe there’s some blame here that has to go to the teachers union, for refusing to have schools where teachers are paid for performance, for fighting charter schools, for fighting vouchers so that we can drastically and dramatically improve education.”

For an excellent analysis of this development and how it fits in with the corporate agenda for education read this .