Boots On The Ground

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Patrick Elder and Seth Kershner -

As military recruiters gain a foothold in Christian schools, grassroots activists across the nation are sounding the alarm.

Central Catholic versus Militarization USUMMER IS THE season for high school football practice. Two years ago, the players at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., got a different kind of coaching, brought in by head coach Steve Pyne. For the first time, U.S. Army recruiters would serve as volunteers to run the football team through their strength and conditioning paces-helping them prepare for the annual "Holy War" matchup against archrival Jesuit High School.

According to an article in the U.S. Army's monthly Recruiter Journal, the Army "footprint" for the big game included a Humvee parked outside the stadium and a pre-kickoffevent in which local recruiters placed "unit patch decals from various Army divisions" onto players' helmets.

Purchase access to this article on Sojourners

Última actualización el Miércoles 29 de Octubre de 2014 12:07

The Military Invasion of My High School: The role of JROTC

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Sylvia McGauley -

“Will you please write me a letter of recommendation for the Navy, Ms. McGauley? You’re my best class.” Thanh was enrolled in the recently established Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) at our high school and he, like many of my students, was enamored with the military’s alluring promises of a magic carpet ride away from poverty and uncertainty.

Air Force JROTC students from Buena Park High School, Coronado, California, 2006.  U.S. Navy photo by Hermes CrespoMy heart ripped as I listened to Thanh’s plea. I want to do what is best for my kids. I want to support and honor them in making their own informed decisions. But, given the impact of JROTC at our school, I felt very uneasy about the balance of information students like Thanh were receiving about enlistment in the U.S. military. After much discussion with Thanh, I wrote an honest letter, emphasizing his sensitive poetic nature and his commitment to fairness. The Navy eagerly welcomed him.

The sprawling campus of Reynolds High School (RHS), the second largest high school in Oregon, rests atop a ridge at the entrance to the scenic Columbia River Gorge in tiny Troutdale, 17 miles east of downtown Portland. When I first started teaching here 23 years ago, Reynolds was an almost all white, working-class, conservative, sub-rural community, culturally distinct from its larger urban neighbor. As Portland has become more gentrified, lower rents have attracted numerous low-income families—immigrant, African American, Latina/o, and white. Today, the Reynolds School District is a high-poverty, culturally diverse district with two of the poorest elementary schools in the state—perfect prey for military recruiters who win points for filling the coffers of the poverty draft.

During the Vietnam War era, much was written about JROTC’s role in teaching military training; today JROTC high school (and even middle school) programs incorporate a broader curricular agenda and are expanding rapidly. Yet, within the education community, little has been written about the implications and effects of JROTC in schools.

Última actualización el Martes 07 de Octubre de 2014 21:55 Leer más...

DeKalb Schools Military Catch Basin

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Michael Burke -

Cross Keys High SchoolAt least one DeKalb County high school that we know of is totally ignoring the 1987 and 1988 ruling of the Searcy v. Crim case decided by the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. With every misdeed and instance of corruption in past years, by the DeKalb Board of Education (BOE), one would think  our latest superintendent, Michael Thurmond, interim though he may be, would look into what's going on at Cross Keys HS and other county high schools.

Let us all have a fair accounting of what's really going on in our county schools -- do we own these schools or does the Pentagon?  Military recruiters are being given free reign of CKHS and we're hoping the new fulltime principal, Mr. Heard, will get a firm grip on this situation and diligently work
with Mr. Thurmond, by paying heed to the current violations of the court ruling outlined above.  Our organization is certainly not picking on CKHS alone, it's more like we're focusing on this school because of its' many violations of Searcy v. Crim over the years.  At the very least, we must have
a true accounting of why a detachment of three USMC recruiters were allowed into CKHS on the school's opening day?

Since then they've been back several times and so have we.  Army recruiters are not far behind in showing a presence.  Again on Thursday, September 18, Marine recruiters were actually pulling juniors and seniors out of their classrooms to check on the students' progress -- as in how ripe were these children for induction, training and deployment a year or two from now?  Yes, high school students are all children unless they have reached adulthood, which in Georgia is eighteen.

Unfortunately, the foregoing is not the entire story.  Searcy v. Crim specifically rules that if military personnel are permitted access to the school's annual career day then other groups and prospective employers will also be allowed to set up tables and distribute literature to students.  Yet here's another Catch 22 -- according to the head CKHS guidance counselor, Tanya Henderson, there is only one career day a year -- in November!

Última actualización el Martes 07 de Octubre de 2014 21:45 Leer más...

Counter-Recruitment Season

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Kevin Young -

Army of None“Counter-recruitment,” alternatively known as “truth-in-recruiting” or CR for brevity’s sake, involves providing young people and their parents with information about alternatives to military enlistment (college, vocational training, job opportunities, scholarships, etc.). At the same time, CR campaigns can provide a sense of the terrible realities of war by exposing students and parents to the words of soldiers, veterans, and foreign war victims. Since most military recruits enlist 1) because they see no other option, and/or 2) because they have a deluded and romantic view of war, the military, and US foreign policy, CR efforts can fill two important gaps in young people’s knowledge.

One of the lesser-known aspects of the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 is a provision requiring all public high schools to provide military recruiters with students’ private contact information. The only way to avoid the release of this information is to submit a signed “opt-out” form to school administrators every year by a district-specific deadline, usually sometime between mid-September and mid-October. School administrators are legally obliged to send the opt-out form home with students, but many do not, and often the forms get overlooked within the massive information packets sent home at the start of the school year. The months of August, September, and October are thus particularly crucial for CR efforts.

What follows is an analysis of the importance of counter-recruitment and a brief starters’ guide for those who might be inclined to engage in it this fall, with links to sample leaflets and educational information.

Última actualización el Jueves 02 de Octubre de 2014 14:08 Leer más...

Pay No Attention to the Apocalypse Behind the Curtain

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David Swanson - Remarks in London, England, July 2, 2014

World Beyond WarThank you to Bruce Kent and the Movement for the Abolition of War and to Veterans For Peace and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Thank you to the Stop the War Coalition and everyone else for helping spread the word.

In 8 days, on July 10th Mary Ann Grady-Flores, a grandmother from Ithaca, NY, is scheduled to be sentenced to up to one year in prison.  Her crime is violating an order of protection, which is a legal tool to protect a particular person from the violence of another particular person.  In this case, the commander of Hancock Air Base has been legally protected from dedicated nonviolent protesters, despite the protection of commanding his own military base, and despite the protesters having no idea who the guy is.  That’s how badly the people in charge of the flying killer robots we call drones want to avoid any questioning of their activity entering the minds of the drone pilots.

Last Thursday a place in the U.S. called the Stimson Center released a report on the new U.S. habit of murdering people with missiles from drones.  The Stimson Center is named for Henry Stimson, the U.S. Secretary of War who, prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor wrote in his diary, following a meeting with President Roosevelt: “The question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves. It was a difficult proposition.” (Four months earlier, Churchill had told his cabinet at 10 Downing Street that U.S. policy toward Japan consisted of this: “Everything was to be done to force an incident.”)  This was the same Henry Stimson who later forbid dropping the first nuclear bomb on Kyoto, because he’d once been to Kyoto. He’d never visited Hiroshima, much to the misfortune of the people of Hiroshima.

Última actualización el Miércoles 01 de Octubre de 2014 13:48 Leer más...

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