By John Sherman
The School Project, a joint effort of Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 and Youth against War and Racism, is beginning what will be an eventful year speaking with youth in the Minneapolis public schools, both in classrooms and hallways.
We want to speak with and bring insights to students about the reality of militarism and the cost of war in our country and the world as well as our personal insights into the reality of what it is like to be in the military and what the students can expect if they choose to enlist. We want to provide ideas for alternatives to military service.
The Minneapolis Board of Education passed a resolution last year that says in part:
"When high schools permit military recruiters to speak with students regarding military career opportunities, the school must provide equal access for organizations that wish to counsel alternatives to, or provide additional information about, military service. If literature encouraging military service is displayed for students to read or pick up, groups counseling alternatives to military service may similarly display their literature."
Based on this resolution, Veterans for Peace has been approved as a community partner by the district. We have submitted extensive literature for approval, had meetings with a staff member and were invited to an important meeting of social studies teachers in August. We will present curriculum ideas for teachers, offer speakers for the classrooms as well as provide "counter recruitment" literature and advice for individual students. We will also make contacts with guidance counselors in the schools and provide literature for their offices.
This is an ambitious project and will require commitment from many members of both organizations involved. We are just at the beginning stage and no doubt will learn a lot as we go along about how best to do this project. We will need veterans and youth willing to speak in classrooms as well as vets to staff tables and speak with individual students.
In addition to volunteer energy, we will need additional funds to provide literature to as many students as possible. We have gathered an excellent collection of literature from around the country, as many groups have been at this longer than we have and have created some first-rate literature. Copying and purchase of literature will cost at least $1,000 this year.
Please consider how you might best contribute to this effort.
Contact John Sherman at the office, 612-821-9141, home 612-339-3898 or at email@example.com also, read the PDF brochure "Advice From Veterans" (2.4 MB)