“Preposterous”: Question in Vic Parliament

A question about the participation of weapons companies in education has been raised in the Victorian Parliament.

Aiv Puglielli, Greens MP for North-East Metro, raised the issue on 5 March 2024, directing a question to the Minister for Education:

My constituency question today is to the Minister for Education. On Sunday I joined the Teachers and School Staff for Palestine rally. These teachers were calling on the Department of Education to stop allowing weapons manufacturers access to Victorian public school classrooms via sponsored STEM programs and competitions. This included teachers from schools in my electorate, several of which have had access to, and in some cases participated in, these programs. It is, frankly, preposterous that companies such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boeing are running STEM programs in Victorian primary and secondary schools. These same arms companies are supplying weapons to the Israeli government that are being used to devastate Gaza and kill Palestinian children. Minister, will you ban any STEM programs that are being sponsored by weapons manufacturers from being run in public schools in my electorate?

The Victorian Education Department has updated policy to prevent education materials produced by weapons companies being used in classrooms, but has not taken any action to prevent companies participating in eduction programming.