By Jim Murphy
Sunday, October 23, 2011, 10:36am
“Taking Back Our Schools” Workshop
VETERANS’ FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION
“Taking Back Our Schools” is a 4 hour workshop with continuing assistance as needed. It is an introduction for those who want to do counter-recruiting. This workshop is for faith-based community groups and political organizations that are against military violence and for peace in the world, anti-war veterans, student groups, unions, concerned parents of youth thinking of joining the military.
Participants would hopefully agree with F.O.R.’s Principles:
- Identify with those of every nation, race, gender, sexual orientation and religion who are the victims of injustice and exploitation, and seek to develop resources of active nonviolence to transform such circumstances;
- Refuse to participate in any war or to sanction military preparations; work to abolish war and promote good will among races, nations and classes;
- Strive to build a social order that will utilize the resources of human ingenuity and wisdom for the benefit of all, an order in which no individual or group will be exploited or oppressed for the profit or pleasure of others;
- Advocate fair and compassionate methods of dealing with offenders against society; they also serve as advocates for victims of crime and their families who suffer loss and emotional anguish, recognizing that restitution and reconciliation can help to heal both victims and offenders;
- Endeavor to show respect for personality and reverence for all creation;
Seek to avoid bitterness and contention in dealing with controversy, and to maintain the spirit of self-giving love while engaged in the effort to achieve these purposes.
Many concerned school staff want more information about alternatives in order to help young people evaluate their options.
These are YOUR community’s schools:… what do you know about your school community… school boards, principals/school administrations? Are some of your schools more college prep oriented than others (for the less academically inclined, code for the poor)? The lower end schools attract more recruiters.
Our discussion begins with “what are the laws”, local, state and national? Why aren’t the school policies adhered to as prescribed by law. For example, the Opt-Out form often uses a questionable process. Why shouldn’t kids be able to ‘Opt-In’? Next, research local facts and figures (%age of enlistees, WIAs, KIAs, recruiter presence in the community). At the same time, communicate with local anti-war organizations, students groups. What are our skills? Students can survey their schools for student attitudes, we can check calendars for recruiter visits. Senior teachers have power and can set up C/R guest speakers. See the “I Will Not Kill” program for the F.O.R. Conscientious Objector Registry.
VETERANS’ FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION can help you by holding a workshop w/ sample flyers and brochures or with a series of conference calls with homework and emailed documents for dissemination discussion. Costs will be minimal and the results priceless.
Peace, Jim Murphy: 102 Hancock St., Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 319-0980 H; (845) 270-0439 C
Fellowship Of Reconciliation: 521 N. Broadway, Upper Nyack, NY 10960 (845) 358-4601