(VFP Members speaking at TEAM Englewood High School in 2014 about their experiences in the military)
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.