We, the Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace, are pursuing a many-pronged campaign to bring Peace at Home, Peace Abroad by focusing on youth and the demilitarization of public education.
As veterans, we’ve experienced the military from inside, and many of us have fought in one or more of our country’s all-too-frequent wars. Despite the common claims of recruiters, generals, corporate media and politicians, we can tell you that when the military is sent in, they are there to dominate any person or group that is rightly, wrongly or unnecessarily identified as an enemy, and that the military’s core method is violence.
Domination and violence, and consequently the military, have no place in the lives of youth or our schools.
Yet, because of the myths that have been built over many decades that the military model is about “leadership”, “freedom”, “honor” and “service”, military “education” persists in invading public education, especially in Chicago, which, as you can see in the video, now has the most militarized public school system in the country. Getting the military out of the Chicago Public Schools can be the start to removing the military model from public education nationally.
We seek to build a movement to remove the military model of conflict resolution by violence from the lives of youth here in Chicago, and to turn Chicago Public Schools into a national model for teaching cooperation, nonviolent conflict resolution skills, and restorative justice.
Very glad to learn about this outstanding initiative, and I wish you the greatest — well-deserved — success.
Regarding any input I have about your work to demilitarize public education in Chicago, it has my wholehearted support. We should be teaching our children how to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and constructive way.
Militarism is so prevalent that it is unseen by many. Most would be surprised to learn that our government spends over $600M on military advertising each year and a total of over $3.2B on military recruitment each year! Even Chicago's cash-strapped public schools shell out $17 million each year to support their JROTC program. While the government can use our tax dollars to advertise and promote their position, we must rely on WE THE PEOPLE to counter their message of militarism.
To build awareness and broad support for our Education Not Militarization initiative, ChicagoVFP has explored and will use social media and other free modalities to educate the community, but we need more muscle. We have concluded that billboards are the least costly and most effective media for our initiative because they have the visual staying power and repetition of television with much less expense.
Please help bring Peace at Home, Peace Abroad by ending the militarization of public education. Donate generously to our campaign. For $500, we can have one billboard for one month. Our goal is to have 3 billboards at all times. Thus we need $1,500 per month or $18,000 per year.
If you’d prefer to send a check, make it to Veterans For Peace and mail it to:ARNY STIEBER
Whether you can or can’t donate, you can help greatly by telling as many people as possible about our efforts. Post us on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Send emails about us to your contact lists. Whatever you can think to do to help raise as much awareness as possible will be greatly appreciated not only by us, but by all the middle and high school students who together we might save from a militarized “education” of conflict resolution by violence.