Articles

 These Grannies Are Helping to Plug the School-to-Military Pipeline at Its Source

Joyce Chu -

When teachers are underpaid and schools are underserved, why do we pay veterans to encourage young students to join the military?

 An airman in the United States Air Force demonstrates proper firing position while using the M4 rifle, with students from Terre Haute North High School in Indiana on May 6, 2015. (US Air National Guard photo by SMSgt. John S. Chapman / Released)  On a Wednesday afternoon last month, a group of gray-haired women with canes and Styrofoam guns lined the streets outside the New York City Department of Education’s headquarters in Brooklyn. “Get the military out of our schools!” they shouted, capturing pedestrians’ attention. “No more JROTC!” These were the courageous women of the Granny Peace Brigade, and they were there to protest what they see as the militarization of the city’s public schools.

In his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, Mayor Bill de Blasio allocates some $1.6 million to fund Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs in high schools across the city. Under the program, schools pay retired veterans to teach a military-oriented curriculum approved by the Department of Defense (DOD). If a student decides to enroll, the JROTC class fills a period just like any other; it is incorporated into her daily schedule, and the student receives credit upon successful completion. Instruction may vary by school, but activities often include inspections, physical exercises, discussion of military-approved textbooks, exams, and lessons prepared by the instructor. Some programs may also require students to dedicate their after-school hours to practice marching and shooting—activities that often occur on the school’s grounds.

Nationwide, the costs of JROTC are even more startling. A 2004 study by the American Friends Service Committee found that schools across the United States were spending $222 million annually on JROTC instructor salaries alone. The DOD funds the rest of the program’s expenses: In 2013, that amounted to another $365 million.

Ever since the elimination of the draft in 1973, the presence of military recruiters and JROTC programs has increased in high schools all across the United States. Because the government could no longer compel service, it became necessary to find other ways to persuade young men and women to sign up. And what more opportune place to influence kids than in schools? In 1970, 54 years after the program’s inception under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, the Army had 585 units operating nationwide. Now there are over 1,700 chapters of the Army’s JROTC branch established in schools across the country—and about the same number operated by other branches of the military. This escalation of the program was necessary for the military “to ensure they can continue recruiting some 200,000 new members that need to be added every year,” says Seth Kershner, a researcher who writes about the counter-recruitment movement. “It’s a huge undertaking.”

This Ex–Army Ranger Goes on Missions to High Schools—but Not to Recruit

Rory Fanning -

For a decade, Afghanistan vet Rory Fanning has been battling the desire to inflict pain on himself. Instead, he visits schools.

Early each New Year’s Day I head for Lake Michigan with a handful of friends. We look for a quiet stretch of what, only six months earlier, was warm Chicago beach. Then we trudge through knee-deep snow in bathing suits and boots, fighting wind gusts and hangovers. Sooner or later, we arrive where the snowpack meets the shore and boot through a thick crust of lake ice, yelling and swearing as we dive into near-freezing water.

It took me a while to begin to understand why I do this every year, or for that matter why for the last decade since I left the military I’ve continued to inflict other types of pain on myself with such unnerving regularity. Most days, for instance, I lift weights at the gym to the point of crippling exhaustion. On summer nights, I sometimes swim out alone as far as I can through mats of hairy algae into the black water of Lake Michigan in search of what I can only describe as a feeling of falling.

A few years ago, I walked across the United States with 50 pounds on my back for the Pat Tillman Foundation in an obsessive attempt to rid myself of “my” war. On the weekends, I clean my house similarly obsessively. And it’s true, sometimes I drink too much.

In part, it seems, I’ve been in search of creative ways to frighten myself, apparently to relive the moments in the military I said I never wanted to go through again—or so a psychiatrist told me anyway. According to that doctor (and often I think I’d be the last to know), I’m desperately trying to recreate adrenalizing moments like the one when, as an Army Ranger, I jumped out of an airplane at night into an area I had never before seen, not sure if I was going to be shot at as I hit the ground. Or I’m trying to recreate the energy I felt leaping from a Blackhawk helicopter, night vision goggles on, and storming my way into some nameless Afghan family’s home, where I would proceed to throw a sandbag over someone’s head and lead him off to an American-controlled, Guantánamo-like prison in his own country.

Counter-Recruitment and the Campaign to Demilitarize Public Schools

Scott Harding, Seth Kershner -

ISBN 9781137515254
Publication Date September 2015
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Counter-Recruitment and the Campaign to Demilitarize Public Schools"This book brilliantly dissects not only the militarization of schools in the United States but also offers a systemic approach to forms of counter-recruitment. Not content to simply condemn military recruitment of students, the book offers parents and others a ray of hope in developing a language, strategies, and policies that can end this pernicious militarizing of schools and the recruitment of young people into America's ever expanding war machine. A must-read book for fighting back against militarized pedagogies and strategies of repression." - Henry Giroux, McMaster University, Canada, author of The Violence of Organized Forgetting (2013)

"What does sustainable anti-militarization look like? Who does it—and how? This fascinating book pulls back two curtains, first on how American high schools are being steadily militarized, and second, on how thoughtful, committed local counter-recruitment activists are rolling back that militarizing process, school by school, town by town. For any of us in critical security studies, American studies, peace studies, education, or women's and gender studies, this is a genuinely valuable book." - Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War (2010)

The United States is one of the only developed countries to allow a military presence in public schools, including an active role for military recruiters. In order to enlist 250,000 new recruits every year, the US military must market itself to youth by integrating itself into schools through programs such as JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps), and spend billions of dollars annually on recruitment activities. This militarization of educational space has spawned a little-noticed grassroots resistance: the small, but sophisticated, "counter-recruitment" movement. This book describes the various tactics used in counter-recruitment, drawing from the words of activists and case studies of successful organizing and advocacy. Counter-recruiters visit schools to challenge recruiters' messages with information on non-military career options; activists work to make it harder for the military to operate in public schools; they conduct lobbying campaigns for policies that protect students' private information from military recruiters; and, counter-recruiters mentor youth to become involved in these activities. While attracting little attention, counter-recruitment has nonetheless been described as "the military recruiter's greatest obstacle" by a Marine Corps official.

Source: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/counterrecruitment-and-the-campaign-to-demilitarize-public-schools-scott-harding/?isb=9781137515254


 

Scott Harding is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Social Work, University of Connecticut, USA. He has extensive advocacy and organizing experience on issues of homelessness, affordable housing, welfare, community development, and transnational labor solidarity. He was Executive Director and Policy Coordinator for the California Homeless & Housing Coalition, USA. He is a Board Member of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), and former Editor of The Journal of Community Practice.

Seth Kershner is an independent writer and researcher whose primary focus is the US military's growing presence in public schools. His work has appeared in a number of academic journals and books, as well as popular outlets such as In These Times, Rethinking Schools, and Sojourners, among others. Kershner currently works as a reference librarian at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, USA.

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African Americans

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Recruiting on Colleges

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Suspendisse fringilla tortor ut rhoncus hendrerit. Sed congue sit amet urna eu gravida. Donec tempor ex at placerat tincidunt. Phasellus egestas tristique massa, eget rutrum massa fringilla et. Suspendisse eget luctus sem. Proin ex magna, malesuada nec tortor vitae, facilisis convallis diam. Vivamus eu sapien velit. Vestibulum ut nunc ut lorem congue molestie. Cras sit amet ante neque. Donec mollis tempus nisi sit amet pellentesque.

Proin dictum dolor quis erat ultrices, quis commodo leo semper. Aenean porta luctus maximus. Suspendisse et aliquam tellus. Nullam consectetur ut diam vel dapibus. Aenean faucibus, nibh in consequat pharetra, quam libero faucibus tellus, vel pretium nibh ante sit amet ex. Quisque tristique metus lectus, id fermentum lacus malesuada et. Vestibulum nibh nunc, egestas eget tincidunt quis, porta in urna. Praesent finibus vestibulum massa, vel cursus lorem ultrices dapibus. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Cras posuere ipsum ex, quis venenatis quam tristique quis. Ut a est ut mauris malesuada fringilla eget sed nulla.

Nulla elit nisi, ultricies sit amet dui in, vestibulum mattis arcu. Sed vel risus non sapien facilisis tincidunt. Pellentesque non neque nisl. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam nec fringilla nisi. Sed vulputate maximus eros vel volutpat. Fusce eget turpis vitae urna rutrum porttitor commodo et erat. Nam a felis cursus, dignissim neque sit amet, feugiat tellus. In a rhoncus turpis, finibus molestie lacus.

Pellentesque ut orci nec est porttitor convallis non eget nunc. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Mauris euismod augue a placerat posuere. Sed non tortor efficitur orci vestibulum sodales ac non metus. Nam vitae dui nec urna porta ultricies. Fusce tempor enim consectetur, convallis mi in, vulputate nunc. Aenean et porttitor purus, et hendrerit mi. Suspendisse pretium diam vel placerat auctor. Pellentesque felis nisi, tristique vitae dolor vel, imperdiet finibus arcu. Nulla diam dui, sodales eu lobortis eget, tincidunt a magna. Aliquam nec tincidunt mauris, vel suscipit dui. Aenean vitae elit in risus dignissim tempus vitae aliquet leo. Nulla velit orci, rutrum vitae vulputate ut, lacinia a quam.

Curabitur tincidunt euismod elit, at semper est aliquam id. Sed porttitor placerat risus in dignissim. Aliquam et leo nec eros placerat gravida. Aliquam eu ex velit. Vivamus ullamcorper iaculis elementum. Cras efficitur non justo at rhoncus. Integer lobortis fermentum consequat. Suspendisse potenti. Duis et quam ipsum. Curabitur ullamcorper posuere dui.

Aliquam vulputate cursus lorem sed fermentum. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Suspendisse at diam urna. Etiam eget aliquam mauris, ac feugiat magna. In bibendum mauris ut diam feugiat, ut maximus nunc vulputate. Nunc leo mauris, euismod nec leo pellentesque, fermentum volutpat mauris. Nam semper nisi quis augue condimentum, at maximus nunc pellentesque. Fusce at luctus libero. Aenean enim augue, semper at dui sit amet, semper pretium nulla. Morbi at rutrum dui. Etiam in auctor nulla. Praesent ac elementum ligula.

Sed scelerisque cursus dui, auctor vulputate turpis tincidunt vel. In placerat dui vitae feugiat tempus. Nulla facilisi. Morbi mauris odio, cursus et est et, ultrices maximus tortor. Integer tincidunt quis nunc in fringilla. Suspendisse viverra, nisi ac varius pharetra, tellus urna rutrum urna, in varius enim sem ac sem. Donec tempor elit quam, et ultricies quam ultrices varius. Aenean nisl lorem, lacinia tempus urna quis, commodo sagittis mauris. Nam ullamcorper felis sit amet interdum dapibus. Maecenas ut metus augue.

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