Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
The Pentagon mines the personal data of our youth in their high schools.- Click the Photo to Go There
Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)
Project YANO is a 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1984, that provides a counter-balance to the marketing of militarism..- Click the Photo to Go There
The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth NNOMY at the 2017 VFP Education Not Militarization Convention in Chicago
Is the only national network that educates about the influence of militarism upon our youth and assists organizations struggling against this trend.

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Military Families Speak Out
is an organization of military families across the US and around the world who are opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .- Click the Photo to Go There
Divest “Your Body” from the War Machine
CODEPINK, in partnership with an array of peace and disarmament groups, has launched a divestment campaign - Click the Photo to Go There
School Marksmanship Training programs put our youth at risk
for the potential promotion of school violence - Click the Photo to Go There
Suggested approaches for gaining access to schools and ideas for activities once inside - Click the Photo to Go There
This workshop focuses on what you can do to reach and educate students at the individual school level.

 

Militarization of our Schools

The Pentagon is taking over our poorer public schools.
This is the new reality for our disadvantaged youth.

 

 

What we can do

Corporate/conservative alliances threaten Democracy  .
Progressives have an important role to play.

 

Why does NNOMY matter?

Most are blind or indifferent to the problem.
A few strive to protect our democracy.

  

Before You Enlist (2018)

Straight talk from soldiers, veterans  and their family members tells what is missing  from the sales pitches presented by recruiters  and the military's marketing efforts.

 

No Child Left Behind Act - Overview

UNCLE SAM WANTS...
Your Child's Name, Phone Number, and Address

The passage of recent "school reform" legislation intended to improve upon the nation's school systems also allows the military access to private student information.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law by President George Bush on January 8, 2002, is touted by many as a federal bipartisan success story designed to impact the way children learn in school and how schools and states are held accountable to students, parents and educational communities. It is an elaborate reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that, among other things, initially offered grants to low income school areas and established the federal lunch and milk programs. In spite of the new act’s overwhelming support by Washington legislators and policy makers, it is starting to come under fire for a well-hidden section entitled Sec. 9528. Armed Forces Recruiter Access to Students and Student Recruiting Information.

Counter-recruitment is crucial to anti-war movement

 Pat Elder -

Patrick ElderThe mainstream peace and justice movement is beginning to see that countering military recruitment deserves a higher priority and should be viewed in strategic, rather than tactical terms. Resisting the unprecedented and relentless militarization of American youth transcends the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Countering military recruitment confronts an ugly mix of a distinctively American brand of institutionalized violence, racism, militarism, nationalism, classism, and sexism.  It gets to the root of the problem.

Confronting the work of military recruiters, particularly in the nation’s public schools will provide a catalyst for activists to shift gears from the traditional antiwar tactics of vigils, protests, sit-ins, and CD actions to the long-term strategy of opposing the militarization of youth.  The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. One however, treats symptoms; the other addresses causes.

Simply put, the strategy of the counter-recruiting movement is to put the imperial armed forces of the United States into a kind of vice that squeezes new recruits from the ranks.  One end of the vice is the near universal rejection of the return of the military draft.  Remember how the House voted 402-2 against reinstating the draft back in October of 2004?  Bringing back the draft is unthinkable.  Conscription would result in demonstrations of millions that would ultimately end the war and result in a political revolution.  The crushing steel on the opposite side of the vice is the counter-recruitment movement, aided by an American public that increasingly recognizes illegal and immoral wars.

Counter recruitment activists are putting on the squeeze.  They’re doing it by learning about high school policies that favor military recruiters and they’re organizing their communities to change it.  They’re providing youth with training, employment and educational alternatives to military service.  They’re engaged with community leaders and the press in promoting a greater awareness of encroaching militarism.  And they’re being successful across the country.

The Childrens Crusade

Jennifer Wedekind -

Military programs move into middle schools to fish for future soldiers

Tarsha Moore stands as tall as her 4-foot 8-inch frame will allow. Staring straight ahead, she yells out an order to a squad of peers lined up in three perfect columns next to her. Having been in the military program for six years, Tarsha has earned the rank of captain and is in charge of the 28 boys and girls in her squad. This is Lavizzo Elementary School. Tarsha is 14.

A high school JROTC at the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.The Middle School Cadet Corps (MSCC) program at the K-8 school is part of a growing trend to militarize middle schools. Students at Lavizzo are among the more than 850 Chicago students who have enlisted in one of the city’s 26 MSCC programs. At Madero Middle School, the MSCC has evolved into a full-time military academy for kids 11 to 14 years old.

Chicago public schools are home to the largest Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, which oversees the MSCC, in the country. When moving up to high school, Chicago’s graduating eighth-graders can choose from 45 JROTC programs, including three full-time Army military academies, five “school-within-a-school” Army JROTC academies and one JROTC Naval academy.

Proponents of the programs tout leadership training and character development. But critics quote former Defense Secretary Gen. William Cohen, who described JROTC as “one of the best recruiting services that we could have.” Rick Mills, the director of Military Schools and JROTC for the Chicago Public School system, dismisses these concerns. “These kinds of programs would not be in schools if there weren’t kids who wanted it, parents who supported it and administrators who facilitated it,” he says.

The elementary school cadet corps is a voluntary after-school program that meets two or three times a week. Programs differ from school to school, but MSCC students generally learn first-aid, civics, “citizenship” and character development. They also learn military history and take field trips to local military bases. Once a week, students wear their uniforms to school for inspections. Tarsha describes buffing her uniform shoes in preparation for inspection days. “Everything has to be perfect,” she says. During drill practices they learn how to stand, turn and salute in synchronization. When they disobey an order, they do pushups. “Only 10,” says one administrator.

Joanne Young, a sixth-grade teacher at Goethe School in Chicago, recently wrote a letter to the local school council protesting the implementation of the cadet corps in her school. “I was told that it is not a military program, yet every aspect of it is military,” she wrote. “This program is training our students, as young as 11-years old, to march in formation and carry guns. … Students could be suspended for bringing something that appears to be a weapon to our school, yet we are handing them fake guns for this program.” Young, like many other teachers, feels that leadership and discipline could easily be taught in other types of after-school programs.

Herman Barnett, director of Lavizzo’s award-winning MSCC program, asks the public to give the students the benefit of the doubt. “They don’t look at it as getting ready for the army,” he says. “They’re just doing it for entertainment and fun.”

In 2002 the Bush administration passed the No Child Left Behind Act with a small, unpublicized provision: Section 9528, “Armed Forces Recruiter Access to Students and Student Recruiting Information,” requires high schools to give all student contact information to the military. Most students aren’t aware they can opt out by filling out a form.

Ranjit Bhagwat, an organizer for Chicago’s Southwest Youth Collaborative, has worked with students at Kelly High School in Chicago to inform their classmates about the provision and how to opt out. The Kelly group, founded in January, has already convinced more than 10 percent of the school’s population to sign the opt-out petition. Bhagwat says the group targeted military recruitment because the students felt the military’s presence in their school was an issue that needed to be addressed. “They had a problem with the fact that there were a lot of lies the military told,” he says.

The MSCC and JROTC programs are funded by the Defense Department, which has a $3 billion annual recruitment budget. Recruitment officers roam high schools promoting the image of a secure military career and enticing students with promises of money for college.

The “lies” mentioned by Bhagwat include the reality that, on average, two-thirds of recruits never receive college funding and only 15 percent graduate with a four-year degree. As for a “secure” career, the unemployment rate for veterans is three times higher than non-veterans.

Opponents of the JROTC program also cite ethnic profiling, arguing that the military targets students from minority and low-income areas. The Chicago Public School system is 49.8 percent African American and 38 percent Latino. Students coming from low-income families make up 85.2 percent of Chicago’s student population. JROTC director Mills is correct when he says the racial and socioeconomic status of those in Chicago’s JROTC program reflects the school system as a whole, but only five schools in all of the more affluent Chicago suburbs have JROTC programs.

Military recruiters are known for their flashy tactics: television ads, omnipresent brochures, recruiting ships, trucks and vans, and even a free Army video game kids can download off the Internet. Yet, the Army hasn’t met its recruitment goals in three months. The Marines haven’t met their quotas since January. Suspicious recruitment tactics are in the headlines and Army recruiters took off May 20 to retrain in the ethics and laws of recruitment.

Meanwhile, Mills insists the military does not look to JROTC groups for students to boost its numbers. “I get absolutely no pressure from any of the services,” he says. “None.”

Only 18 percent of graduating JROTC seniors are considering joining the service, says Mills. He does not have statistics on how many of the 71 percent that go on to post-secondary school stay with the ROTC program. Lavizzo’s Barnett also says that not all of his middle school students move on to JROTC programs in high school. Tarsha, however, has already signed up. While she wants to be a lawyer and is not planning on joining the armed forces when she graduates, the 14-year-old says, “If I were to join the military, I would be ready for it.”

Source: http://inthesetimes.com/article/2136/the_children_crusade

 

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