Pupils at a Southall school have made a video tackling the issues of knife crime.
The teenagers from Featherstone High School created the music video '' Draw a Line'' under the name 'Saviour' during a club run by the Social Inclusion Department.
“How can this pain be glamourised?” Ben Watson,14, asks in the song’s catchy chorus. Speaking in a school assembly previewing “Draw a Line”, Ben explains: “a lot of current rap music promotes gangs, drugs, murder and sexual assault. We wanted to create a music video that would be pro-social and inventive rather than anti-social and unoriginal.”
Adrian Clarke,14, who plays a knife attacker in the video, wanted to show how young perpetrators of knife crime are themselves groomed and victimised by criminal gangs. “My character is bribed by gang members, then finds himself pressured into committing a stabbing that wrecks his own life as well as his victim’s.”
Aman Oliveira-Ghotra 14, who plays the role of paralysed victim, is worried about the escalation of knife crime in the capital, decrying “the trauma and upset it causes to our community”. He suggests: “we can ensure the safety of our youth by educating against knife possession as well as demanding back the youth clubs and other community services that have disappeared. Politicians need to see this as an emergency.”
Jack Morgan, Year 9 Learning Mentor who co-ordinated the making of “Draw a Line” and produced the final audio-visual edit, believes that music videos have enormous power to persuade young audiences.
He said: “This power can be used for good or for ill. These students have made a stand by using their talents to challenge rather than glorify acts of violence.”
Headteacher Gerry Wadwa is delighted with the project: “our whole community is incredibly proud of the deep desire of these Featherstone students to challenge behaviours which continue to have such tragic consequences. The professionalism with which this powerful message has been communicated is inspiring.”
Sergeant Ian Benjamin, who leads the Youth Engagement team of the Metropolitan Police in the West Area, was captivated by “Draw a Line” when it premiered at the “Your Life You Choose” anti-crime day at Featherstone: “a fantastic piece of work by students that truly brought the horrors of knife crime home to their peers. They should feel extremely proud and praise should also go to Jack Morgan for his dedication to his role within the school.”